The Metropolitan Opera in New York City has released plans for reopening, announcing that it will require audiences and performers to be fully vaccinated for its upcoming season. The house announced this move on Tuesday, July 27 as folks throughout the United States debate the topic of mandatory vaccinations.
The Met said that all customers, staff, members of its orchestra, and chorus will need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be present for any performances in the 2021-22 season.
“The Met will be a fully vaccinated house,” the prestigious institution said in an email sent to patrons. Children under the age of 12--a group that is currently ineligible for vaccines--will not be allowed to enter the Met even if the adults accompanying them are vaccinated.
This announcement comes as many states throughout the country move toward vaccine mandates due to fears over rising cases caused by the newly-discovered Delta variant. More progressive states, including California and New York City, announced on Monday that public sector workers would need to get vaccinated or take weekly tests in order to stay employed.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to impose a mandate when it announced this week it would require more than 100,000 health care personnel to get COVID-19 vaccines.
On Tuesday, New York officials also announced that proof of vaccination would also be required for a concert on August 21 in Central Park to celebrate the city’s post-coronavirus reopening. Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Bocelli, and Paul Simon are all slated to be among those performing.
As for Broadway, which is due to fully return in September, there has not been a general vaccine mandate issued, but two shows: Springsteen on Broadway and Pass Over, have both announced that audiences must be vaccinated.
This mandate coming from The Met is big for New York City, as the venue is largest performing arts organization in the United States, employing more than 3,000 staffers.
The Met has been closed since the coronavirus broke out in New York in March 2020 and is planning to open at the end of September.