A man had his photo ID out and in his hand as he walked to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on Broadway until see “Come From Away”, but no one checked. The families who flocked to see “The Lion King” were told to get their tickets out of the closet and put on their masks, but there was no mention of vaccination cards. And the Covid security officers in neon yellow vests who used to patrol outside “Six” were gone.
Most Broadway theaters stopped checking their customers’ vaccination status last week, the first since they began reopening last summer, easing safety protocols the same week as rising coronavirus cases took New York City to a higher risk level.
The industry hopes that abolishing vaccine controls — which have also been eliminated at restaurants, movie theaters and other New York City locations — will make theater more appealing, and that the remaining mask mandate will help keep the public safe as the number of cases rises. but hospitalizations and deaths remain low.
While some customers welcomed the change, others said they felt uncomfortable entering crowded theaters without the assurance that their inmates had been vaccinated, and several not-for-profit Broadway theaters still require vaccination certificates.
“I just don’t feel as safe as I’ve been in recent months,” said Lauren Broyles, 44, an executive assistant from Hershey, Pennsylvania, who visited New York several times last winter to see shows but said she’d stopped planning a new one. summer theater trip after reading that Broadway had dropped its vaccine mandate. “I’m waiting to hear what’s next.”
But Michael Anderson, 48, of Hudson, NY, who recently lined up to see “Hangmen,” said he thought that while vaccine checks made sense before, he felt they were no longer necessary. “Right now I’m vaccinated and boosted,” he said.