Broadway to shutter as NY bans gatherings of 500 or more

Broadway to shutter as NY bans gatherings of 500 or more
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday that the state will ban gatherings of more than 500 people in response to the coronavirus, including Broadway performances.

“We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state. Starting Friday at 5pm, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS,” Cuomo tweeted Thursday. “Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50%.”

“For Broadway theaters in Manhattan, these rules will go into effect at 5pm TODAY,” Cuomo added in a follow-up tweet. “We have already spoken to the theaters about these new measures and they agreed.”

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The cancellations are the latest cultural institution in the city affected by the spread of the virus, including the suspension of live audiences in Rockefeller Plaza by NBC’s “The Today Show,” as well as the temporary closure of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as of Friday.

“While we don’t have any confirmed cases connected to the Museum, we believe that we must do all that we can to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community which at this time calls for us to minimize gatherings while maintaining the cleanest environment possible,” museum CEO and President Dan Weiss said in a statement.

The closings will represent a major economic hit to Broadway, and to the city and state in general.