U.S. arts groups recalibrate safety policies, as coronavirus cases ease

Posted on: March 11, 2022

Large photo: Carnegie Hall photo by Richard Termine. Inset: Excelsior Pass, an app for New York residents that displays proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

“Cultural institutions face tough decisions: Is it safe to drop mask and vaccine requirements, and would doing so be more likely to lure audiences back or keep them away?” writes Matt Stevens in Wednesday’s (3/9) New York Times. At “the Blue Note Jazz Club in Greenwich Village this week … no one was checking proof of vaccination and photo IDs…. ‘Good to be back out,’ Mayor Eric Adams of New York told the overwhelmingly maskless audience Monday, the day the city stopped requiring proof of vaccination at restaurants and entertainment venues…. It is a different story uptown, where Carnegie Hall continues to require masks and vaccines and the Metropolitan Opera [requires] that all eligible people show proof that they have received their booster shots…. Leaders of cultural institutions find themselves confronted once again with difficult decisions … In interviews, leaders of almost a dozen cultural groups across the country [in Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C.] emphasized the need for caution and carefulness. But they noted that each of their situations are distinct.” Orchestras in Buffalo, Milwaukee, and Canton, Ohio, among others, have announced changes to their COVID safety precautions in recent days.