The Metropolitan Opera, which returned from its coronavirus hiatus in September with a vaccine mandate in place for both audiences and staff, is strengthening its safety measures in the new year. Beginning January 17, 2022, audience staff members will need to show proof of an additional booster shot (if eligible to receive it).
The classic arts institution is the first major performing arts organization to announce such a mandate. Meanwhile, in the wake of a swell in confirmed cases and the spread of the Omicron variant, several Broadway shows have faced day-of cancellations due to breakthrough COVID cases within their companies. In the first half of its 2021–2022 season, the Met has not had to cancel a performance.
The Met says the decision was reached in collaboration with consultants at Mount Sinai, and reviewed the policy with representatives from its employee unions prior to the announcement. “I’m confident that our employees know this action is in their best interests and that our audiences will be in agreement, too,” General Manager Peter Gelb said in a statement.
Face masks will still be required within the venue.