In May, Broadway quietly dropped its mission to inject a COVID-19 vaccine to Broadway’s actors and workers and switched to a more lenient model of testing, allowing individual producers not to test. cast and crew members weekly or test as many times as you like.
“The move from COVID-specific protocols to flexible, long-term guidance on infectious disease response fosters continued collaboration between employers and Equity, as well as the ability to respond to Old and new threats in the workplace as they arise,” said Andrea Hoeschen, Assistant Executive Director of the Actors Equity Association.
According to a spokesman, the decision to let the vaccine mandate lapse, made by Broadway producers in July 2021, is part of a periodic review of COVID-19 protocols. of the Broadway League, the trade association for producers and general managers, according to a spokesman. . Language now reads: “Employees are encouraged to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations.”
When asked if individual producers can still require vaccinations for cast and crew members on their shows, the spokesperson said the Federation “is in no position to speak about it.” that.”
Hollywood has dropped its vaccination mandate for new film and TV productions starting after May 12, and can now only request testing in certain circumstances involving intimate scenes.
All of this comes after President Joe Biden signed a congressional resolution on April 11, 2023 ending the national emergency due to COVID-19. The federal public health emergency ended May 11.
Broadway dropped the vaccination requirement for audiences starting April 30, 2022. Wearing a mask became optional for audiences as of July of that year (although some productions did require audiences to have a mask). fake masks for performances or selected seating positions).
The mandate to vaccinate cast and crew members has been put in place by Broadway producers and theater associations before the industry reopens in the fall of 2021. There may be exemptions. except, if authorized by the employer, to individuals who are not vaccinated due to disability or sincere religious beliefs.
Broadway COVID-19 testing has had a degree of flexibility for some time. For example, in the fall of 2021, the Broadway and Actors’ Equity League set out protocols that use COVID Act Now heat maps, which calculate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the area, to Set the minimum number of times the company needs to be checked per week. But this minimum test span is more of a suggestion than a requirement. At the time, amid a spike in the Omicron variant, many products tested more frequently than suggested.