Metropolitan Opera requiring boosters for employees, audiences
The Metropolitan Opera will soon require COVID-19 booster shots for all eligible employees and audience members.
The new policy was announced on Wednesday and will be enforced starting Jan. 17. Face masks will also continue to be required inside the opera house.
“We want everyone who enters our opera house to feel safe,” Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Met, said in the statement. “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’s statement cited the “anticipated wider spread of the Omicron variant” as its reasoning for the decision, which is more strict than current COVID-19 requirements on Broadway and at other performing arts venues in New York.
The Met said that the booster shot policy was created alongside Mount Sinai health experts and leaders of employee unions.
Gelb told The New York Times that he hoped “we will have an influence on other performing arts companies as well.”
“I think it’s just a matter of time — everyone is going to be doing this,” he added.
The Times reported that this is not the first time that performing arts venues have implemented COVID-19 policies beyond government requirements.
Last summer, Broadway required masks and vaccines before New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) imposed the citywide vaccine mandate for indoor venues.