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Broadway Theaters Will Require Vaccines For Audience, Performers And Staff

Owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters will require vaccinations for audience members, performers, backstage crew and staff for all performances through October 2021, The Broadway League announced on Friday (July 30).

The League announcement noted that audience members must also wear masks inside theaters except while eating or drinking in specific areas. All guests will need to show proof of an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccination and must wait at least 14 days after their last vaccine dose to attend a show.

Children under age 12 and people with medical conditions or closely held religious beliefs that prevent vaccination will be exempted from the new vaccination rules. These guests must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance or a negative COVID-19 antigen test within six hours.

Theater owners are likely to review their policies in September before making decisions about shows in November and beyond, a Reuters report said.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is casting a dark shadow over the U.S. economic outlook despite June’s 1 percent increase in household spending, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday (July 30). Families are hitting malls and entertainment venues, restaurants and airports with their extra disposable income, but that spending activity could be curtailed due to the Delta variant. Some U.S. states are starting to implement mask mandates, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising that even people who are vaccinated should wear masks indoors.

The call for vaccination is growing louder as professional organizations, business owners and public officials have begun pushing for and even mandating vaccination. Representatives from almost 60 medical groups — such as the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association — said on Monday (July 26) that they want to see mandatory vaccination policies for all healthcare workers.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, meanwhile, became the first federal agency to require its employees to be vaccinated, demanding that 115,000 frontline healthcare workers be vaccinated in the next two months, the organization announced at the start of the week.

On the governmental side, New York City has expanded its vaccine mandate to include all city workers, who must show proof of vaccination or take weekly tests for the virus beginning in the fall. Unvaccinated NYC workers must wear masks at work beginning Aug. 2. California is mandating that all two million healthcare workers in the state and all 246,000 state employees show proof that they are vaccinated or face weekly tests.

San Francisco bar and restaurant owners are giving consumers the choice of showing proof of vaccination or a negative test to be served., according to the San Francisco Bar Owners Alliance’s new “official policy” as of July 29. Additionally, Shake Shack will require employees and customers to be vaccinated.

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