New York Relaxes Face Mask and Vax Rules; Broadway Does Not New York Relaxes Face Mask and Vax Rules; Broadway Does Not
New York Governor Kathy Hochul removed the statewide mandate requiring businesses either ask customers for proof of full COVID vaccination or that a face... New York Relaxes Face Mask and Vax Rules; Broadway Does Not

New York Governor Kathy Hochul removed the statewide mandate requiring businesses either ask customers for proof of full COVID vaccination or that a face mask be worn at all times indoors – but Broadway isn’t along for the shift. The Broadway League has decided to keep its requirements in place for all those who attend as well as cast and crew members.

“We are maintaining our mask and vaccination mandate in all theaters until April 30, 2022 and look forward to welcoming all visitors to experience the best of Broadway,” said Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin.

All shows at Broadway and off-Broadway venues have required both proof of vaccination and face mask wearing (except while actively eating or drinking) at shows since they reopened in the summer of 2021 after being on pause since March 2020 when the pandemic gripped New York. The extension of the policy through the end of April was announced on January 10, as the community was buffeted by surging case numbers due to the Omicron variant.

“We’re proud to continue setting the gold standard of covid health protocols in all our Broadway theatres in New York,” St. Martin said at the time. “We’re equally proud to assure our ticket buyers’ purchases are secure with our flexible Buy With Confidence refund and exchange policies. Our theatres and world class shows are open for business, ready to welcome and enrapture our audiences, as we’ve done every day for the past five months. Come join us!”

With that surge seemingly on the way out – New York City is back down to a 7-day new case average of 1,857, compared to around 40,000 at the time the extension was announced in January – many consumers have shown increasing readiness to ditch face masks where event organizers give them the choice to do so.

Currently, New York City still requires proof of vaccination for indoor dining, live events, movies, and working out at gyms. That “Key to NYC” program is authorized by the mayor but needs to be renewed every five days, making it increasingly likely that it will be discontinued well before April.