(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Broadway will extend the mask and vaccination requirement for audiences through the end of the year, the Broadway League announced Friday. 

Under the regulations, audience members above the age of 12 must provide proof of vaccination to attend a performance and wear a mask, except while actively eating or drinking. This policy was initially announced in July 2021 and set to be re-evaluated in September. 

Without re-evaluation, the requirement was due to expire Oct. 31. The vaccination requirement also remains for performers, backstage crew and theater staff.

The Broadway League expects to determine policies for next year by Dec. 1. 

As it stands, audience members under the age of 12 must provide proof of a negative rapid test within six hours of the performance or a PCR test taken within 72 hours. However, approval to vaccinate children under the age of 12 is expected to come later this year.

The League’s renewed policy comes as the delta variant continues to spread and lead to breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals. On Sept. 29, “Aladdin” became the first Broadway production since the industry resumed to cancel a performance due to COVID-19 cases in the company. The musical resumed performances Thursday, but has since cancelled performances through Oct. 10 to curb the spread of the virus.

Current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls for vaccinated individuals in high-transmission areas to wear masks in public indoor spaces. New York City requires proof of vaccination — at least one dose — before admittance to performing arts theaters, live music venues, indoor restaurants, gyms and more. 

“We continue to be committed to the highest level of public health standards in our Broadway theatres, and we are delighted to welcome back our audiences to the magic of a Broadway show,” said Nick Scandalios, executive vice President of the Nederlander Organization. “Safety for our audiences as well as the many Broadway professionals onstage and off is our number one priority.”