At a conference held this weekend by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci suggested that theaters and other live performance venues could possibly be reopened by this fall, depending on a variety of factors.
Those factors, Dr. Fauci suggested, are mostly dependent on the countrywide vaccination rollout plan. The United States must vaccinate up to 85 percent of the population to reach what he states is an effective level of herd immunity, which he expects to take occur by fall 2021. By then, he said, "You can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience."
Venues that have strong air filtration systems might not have any restrictions if that vaccination level is reached, with the exception of requiring the audience members to wear masks, which will likely be a common occurrence.
Those main factors — vaccines, air filtration, and mask-wearing — will lead to "almost full capacity" seating by the end of the year, Dr. Fauci suggested.