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On Broadway, audiences (and phantoms) will be required to be masked and vaccinated

As shows begin to open in New York City, Broadway will require that everyone in their theaters be vaccinated against the coronavirus

The Phantom, played by Ramin Karimloo, right, performs a scene with Christine, played by Sierra Boggess.
The Phantom, played by Ramin Karimloo, right, performs a scene with Christine, played by Sierra Boggess, from the sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Love Never Dies” at the Adelphi Theatre in central London, Wednesday, March 3, 2010.
Joel Ryan, Associated Press

On Broadway, the shows will go on, but not without some major pandemic preventions for audiences and cast members.

Before 41 Broadway theaters in New York City turn down the house lights for the first shows in more than a year, audience members, performers, stage crews and staff will be required to show proof that they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19, The Broadway League announced Friday.

The audience, and perhaps a few phantoms, will also need to be masked while in the theater, the Broadway trade association said in its press release.

Families are welcome on Broadway, but with a test

For children under 12 years old (who are currently ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine) or those unable to get the vaccine because of a medical condition or “a closely held religious belief” will be required to show a recent negative COVID-19 test, the Broadway League said.

“As vaccination has proven the most effective way to stay healthy and reduce transmission, I’m pleased that the theatre owners have decided to implement these collective safeguards at all our Broadway houses,” Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement. “A uniform policy across all New York City Broadway theatres makes it simple for our audiences and should give even more confidence to our guests about how seriously Broadway is taking audience safety.”

Vaccine proof goes off Broadway, too

The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall in New York, which both host performance arts events, will also require proof of vaccination and will not allow anyone under 12 into the theaters, The New York Times reported.

“Obviously, it’s painful to me personally and to the company not to have young people coming into the theater,” said general manger of the Met Pete Gelb, according to the Times.

Gleb told the newspaper it was a difficult decision to bar children from the famous venue, but it is intended to keep Met staff and audiences safe.