May 21, 2022 -- With COVID-19 case counts rising in New York City, the 41 Broadway theaters in the city have decided to extend their face mask policy for audience members through June 30.

People can remove their masks to eat and drink, The Broadway League said in a news release. A decision on whether to extend the mask policy into July will be announced in June.

“We’re thrilled that nearly a quarter of a million people are attending Broadway shows weekly in this exciting spring season,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, said in the release.

“As always, the safety and security of our cast, crew, and audience has been our top priority. By maintaining our audience masking requirement through at least the month of June, we intend to continue that track record of safety for all, despite the Omicron subvariants."

Most theaters don’t require audience members to provide proof of vaccination anymore, but theatergoers should check with the theater on COVID policies before leaving.

The Broadway League is not following the cue given by the city government, which is recommending but not requiring masks in most indoor spaces.

“We are not at the point of mandating masks,” Mayor Eric Adams said Monday, according to The New York Times. “We are not at the point of doing anything other than urging New Yorkers, while you are indoors in large settings, social settings, wear your masks.”

New York City moved into orange/high COVID alert status on Tuesday. That means there is a high chance of community spread and that pressure on the health care system is substantial, according to the city government’s color-coded alert categories.

The city said there were an average of 4,078 confirmed and probable COVID cases over the last seven days, up from an average of 3,342 cases during the last 28 days. Hospitalizations for COVID have remained stable – around 70.

New York City moved from low to medium alert status on May 2. Mask mandates for NYC public schools and most indoor spaces were dropped in late February and early March.

Show Sources

The Broadway League. “Broadway’s Mask Policy Extended to June 30”

The New York Times. “N.Y.C. urges people to wear masks indoors, but stops short of requiring it.”

New York City. “COVID-19: Data”

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