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Broadway theaters dropping guest COVID-19 vaccine requirements but still require masks

New York theater industry shuttered during worst of pandemic, trying to make comeback

Published: April 16, 2022 11:58am

Updated: April 16, 2022 4:18pm

Theaters on New York’s world-famous Broadway have begun dropping their COVID-19 vaccine requirements for show guests, less than 12 months after instituting the policy as a measure against virus transmission.

The Broadway League states on its website that, after Apr. 30 of this year, “many [theaters] will no longer check vaccination status,” though “all 41 Broadway theaters” will continue to enforce masking rules. 

“While masking mandates will remain in place at all Broadway theaters through at least May 31, many theaters may no longer require that audience members provide proof of vaccination,” the League states, urging attendees to “consult the show website or point of purchase for information about proof of vaccination requirements for your show.”

The move comes less than a year after the theaters announced the vaccine requirement for all guests as well as all performers and staff. 

Theaters in New York have been struggling to recoup their losses after two years of pandemic fears there and throughout the United States, with sharply decreased attendance persisting into 2022 even after nearly a year of vaccinations and widespread natural immunity. 

New York was among the most severely shut-down cities in the country at the outset of the pandemic, with theaters being among the innumerable attractions being shuttered for fear of the coronavirus. 

The theaters vowed to reopen within a month of closing in March of 2020, though the first Broadway play did not resume until much later, in August of 2021. 

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