Broadway Announces Mandatory Covid Vaccinations for Cast and Crew

By Paul Riegler on 29 July 2021
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Broadway theaters are expected to reopen soon and there will be new coronavirus safety protocols in place when that happens.

Theaters have been dark since March 2020.

Before the pandemic started, Broadway shows welcomed over 14 million people each year with $1.8 billion in ticket sales.  Restarting Broadway is considered a crucial part of restarting the Big Apple’s economy, according to city officials.

The Broadway League, which represents theater owners, and the Actors’ Equity Association, the union that represents actors and stage managers, announced the new measures Thursday afternoon.

“The secure return of our casts, crews and employees is our top priority,” said Charlotte St. Martin, who serves as the league’s president. “We will continue to partner with our union colleagues as we work together towards raising all of our curtains again,” she added.

The measures call for all employees at a theater – from usher to Broadway star – to be vaccinated and also to be regularly tested for the virus.  A very small number of exceptions will be made for those who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Actors’ Equity said it felt that the plan addressed the needs of theatergoers and its members.

“We all feel this plan is robust, adaptable to changing conditions and in line with the science,” said Mary McColl, the group’s executive director. “Vaccines work, and those who are vaccinated will protect both themselves and those who can’t be at this time.”

“Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said multiple times during the course of the pandemic.

To ensure the well-being of workers and theatergoers, theaters owners have agreed to install improved HVAC systems, to ensure better air circulation, that meet the current standards for air exhaust and circulation.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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