New York City Broadway shows will adopt a ‘mask optional’ policy in theatres

Audience members will no longer be required to mask-up to attend Broadway shows in New York City, the Broadway League announced.

The new policy, set to come into effect on 1 July, changes the months-long requirement owners and operators of Broadway’s 41 theatres had strictly adhered to since reopening last summer after having closed their doors to business on 12 March 2020 because of the then-rampant and novel Covid-19 pandemic.

“Millions of people enjoyed the unique magic of Broadway by watching the 75th Tony Award Ceremony recently. Millions more have experienced Broadway LIVE in theatres in New York City and throughout the U.S., since we reopened last fall,” said Charlotte St Martin, the president of the Broadway League, in a prepared statement.

“We’re thrilled to welcome even more of our passionate fans back to Broadway in the exciting 22-23 season that has just begun.”

Masking policies for August and beyond will be reassessed on a monthly basis, the league said, and despite the requirement dropping, they are still encouraging audience members to continue wearing masks inside theatres.

The announcement of the mask policy becoming optional arrives as measures across the city are becoming more relaxed, despite health officials stating that they’re currently experiencing a “high COVID alert” level, meaning increased levels of transmission of the virus.

“The NYC Health Commissioner now advises all New Yorkers to wear a mask in any public indoor setting,” the city’s government says on their Covid-19 homepage. People who are “older than 65 or otherwise at a high risk of severe illness” from Covid-19 are recommended to wear a mask in “crowded outdoor settings and avoid gatherings when possible”.

Masks are still required on public transit, though the most recent figures from New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority indicate that adherence to this policy is at one of its lowest since the early days of the pandemic.

Just 64 per cent of subway riders properly used masks correctly throughout April, according to a May release from the MTA, which marked the lowest compliance the agency has tracked since they began collecting data in the summer of 2020.

After 30 April, Broadway said they’d be dropping the requirement to check theatre-goers vaccination status, while across the city other off-Broadway shows decided to keep both the mask and vaccination measures in place.

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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