Broadway Drops Vaccine

Broadway Drops Vaccine Mandate, COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Broadway Drops Vaccine

Broadway has dropped its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for actors and workers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Broadway has moved to a more lenient testing model, which allows individual productions not to test cast and crew members on a weekly basis or to test as often as they want.
“The move away from COVID-specific protocols to flexible, long-term guidance on responding to infectious disease fosters continued collaboration between employers and Equity, and responsiveness to old and new workplace threats as they arise,” said Actors’ Equity Association Assistant Executive Director Andrea Hoeschen.

The decision to let the vaccine mandate expire, which had been set by Broadway producers in July 2021, came as part of a periodic review of COVID-19 protocols by the Broadway League, the trade association for producers and general managers, according to a spokesperson. The language now reads: “Employees are encouraged to stay up to date on COVID-19 immunizations.”

Hollywood dropped its vaccine mandate on new film and television productions starting after May 12 and now may only require testing in certain cases involving scenes of intimacy.

This comes after US President Joe Biden signed a congressional resolution on April 11, 2023 that brought an end to the COVID-19 national emergency. The federal public health emergency ended May 11, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Broadway had already dropped its vaccination requirement for audience members starting on April 30, 2022. Wearing a mask became optional for audience members starting that July (though some productions have required audience members to wear a mask for select performances or seating locations).

The vaccine mandate for cast and crew members was put in place by theatrical unions and Broadway producers ahead of the industry’s reopening in the fall of 2021. There was a possible exemption if allowed by the employer, in place for individuals who are not vaccinated due to disability or sincerely held religious belief. (ANI)

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