Nationwide Covid surges and a disappointingly slow vaccine rollout notwithstanding, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci reiterated over the weekend his belief that live theater venues could reopen during fall 2021.
Participating in a virtual conference held Saturday by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Fauci said that, depending on the vaccine rollout, the reopening of live venues “will occur some time in the fall of 2021.”
By the “early to mid-fall,” the infectious disease expert said, “you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience.”
Fauci’s comments were consistent with statements he made early last month, when he told NBC that a vaccine rollout this spring and early summer could allow Broadway to reopen its stages by late summer or early fall.
As he noted in December, though, the possible reopenings will depend on widespread vaccinations. He said Saturday that an effective level of herd immunity would mean that 70 percent to 85 percent of the population had received vaccines. Fauci cautioned, however, that audiences can expect to continue wearing masks for the immediate future, and that venues might consider requiring audience members to show proof of negative Covid test results.
He also encouraged venue owners to examine ventilation systems and make appropriate improvements to air flow.