Metropolitan Opera to Require Proof of Vaccine Booster Beginning January 17
New York's Metropolitan Opera has announced that it will mandate a Covid vaccine booster shot for all those eligible to receive it beginning January 17. On that date, entry to the Met will be restricted to those who have received the booster shot, if eligible. This mandate extends to artists, musicians, chorus members, staff, and audiences.
There are exceptions: According to a press statement, "For those who are not eligible for a booster until after January 17, the Met will allow a two-week grace period to schedule and receive the booster upon becoming eligible. After the two weeks have passed, entry will not be allowed until the booster has been received. Recipients of the Pfizer (age 16 ) or Moderna (age 18 ) vaccines become eligible for a booster six months after their second dose, and recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine become eligible two months after their single dose. The CDC has not yet released booster guidelines for the AstraZeneca vaccine or other vaccines beyond the three previously mentioned. Once guidelines have been announced, the Met will adjust its policy regarding other vaccines accordingly."
The decision was made in consultation with the Met's health experts at Mount Sinai.
"We want everyone who enters our opera house to feel safe," said Met General Manager Peter Gelb. "We worked hard to reopen in September, and we're certainly not giving up now. I'm confident that our employees know this action is in their best interests and that our audiences will be in agreement, too."
The Met has often served as a bellwether for the performing arts in New York when it comes to Covid: On March 19, 2020, the opera announced that it would cancel the remainder of its season, one week after Broadway was shut down in what many assumed would be a temporary pause. Similarly, the opera announced that there would be no 2020-21 season in September of that year. Indoor theater in New York mostly remained closed until summer 2021.
Click here to read a detailed and updated version of health and safety guidelines at the Metropolitan Opera.