Broadway patrons can ditch face masks starting next month as the latest COVID wave continues to retreat, representing the national trade association all 41 theaters said in a statement Tuesday.
The Broadway League said in a statement that all owners and operators along The Great White Way would transition to a “mask optional” policy beginning July 1. Wearing masks remains a strong recommendation regardless of vaccination status.
The development comes a week after New York City ended its controversial toddler mask mandate and means that come July 1, mass transit might be the only place where face-covering rules still apply. That could be gone soon, too, though.
Mask mandates for Broadway were most recently extended through June, though Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said the rule’s end appeared near.
“Millions of people enjoyed the unique magic of Broadway by watching the 75th Tony Award3 Ceremony recently. Millions more have experienced Broadway LIVE in theaters in New York City and throughout the US, since we reopened last fall, “St. Martin said.” We’re thrilled to welcome even more of our passionate fans back to Broadway in the exciting 22- 23 seasons that has just begun. “
Mask protocols for August and beyond will be reassessed monthly. Expect an update regarding August to come in July, St. Martin said.
As for mass transit and the MTA, which is run jointly by the state and city, Gov. Kathy Hochul said when asked about the matter recently that the policy was being reviewed and state officials would like to change it soon.
The Democratic governor has in the past held her plans close to the vest until decision time is imminent, but sources familiar with her thinking say they think masks will be made optional soon.