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Broadway could open in September, as New York lays out plans to vaccinate theater workers

A person walks by Broadway posters near Times Square as theaters remain closed following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on January 15, 2021 in New York City.
Cindy Ord | Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is setting his sights on September as the month that the city’s coveted Broadway theaters will be able to reopen.

During a daily briefing Thursday, de Blasio outlined a plan to vaccinate theater workers so that the district and its shows could begin running again this fall.

“The show must go on,” he said. “And the show will go on.”

In addition to mass vaccinations, de Blasio said the city is working on ways to increase Covid-19 testing near the theaters and create plans to manage crowds before and after a show.

Broadway has been shuttered for more than a year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, crippling the local economy. In a traditional year, the theater industry in New York funds nearly 100,000 jobs and pumps nearly $15 billion into the local economy.

For now, Broadway’s 41 theaters will remain closed through at least May 30, but it is likely that date will be pushed back again to be more in line with de Blasio’s time table.

There will also likely be some capacity restrictions on the theaters when they are able to reopen, unless there is a significant drop in the number of coronavirus cases. Movie theaters, for example, are currently only able to house 25% to 50% of potential audiences.

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