Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre Announce Vaccine Mandates for all Patrons, Staff

Audience members watch as Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda conducts the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) during a concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, on February 14, 2019. - In the concert hall, the sound is crisp, slicing through the air like a sharp …

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. jointly announced on Thursday that all audience members are required to be fully vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus, beginning on September 1.

The new policy will also mandate coronavirus vaccines for all artists, staff, ushers, and volunteers, the Kennedy Center and Ford’s Theatre said, adding that despite, the vaccine mandate, face masks will still be required inside the venues.

“As we welcome them back to the Kennedy Center and enjoy live performances once again, it is also our duty to ensure our patrons’ health and security, as well as the safety of our performers and staff,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement.

“Working together we can get back to what we love — the arts — but we must reopen cautiously and responsibly,” Rutter added. “These new measures will reduce risk and help all arts venues maintain the forward momentum we are feeling right now.”

Actors in civil war costumes recreate the overnight vigil for President Lincoln in front of the Ford’s Theatre April 14, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Ford’s Theatre Director Paul Tetreault called mandatory vaccines and face masks “necessary temporary measures to protect our community from contracting and spreading COVID-19.”

Patrons will be required to show “proof of full vaccination against COVID-19,” along with their government-issued photo ID in order to enter the theatres.

As for patrons who are under the age of 12 or have “a medical condition or closely-held religious belief that prevents vaccination,” they will need to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test in order to be granted admission.

The Kennedy Center and Ford’s Theatre are merely the latest venues in the Washington, D.C. area to have recently mandated vaccines.

Earlier this week, the Anthem, 9:30 Club, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and Lincoln Theatre all announced that attendees will need to show proof that they have been vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus in order to attend events there, according to a report by WBAL-TV.

Vaccine mandates have also been implemented in other parts of the country, such as New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced last week that “the voluntary phase is over,” and promised vaccine passports will “be happening all over the country.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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