The Met Announces Covid-19 Booster Mandate Beginning January 17
December 15th, 2021
New York, NY (December 15, 2021)— Following current CDC guidelines for booster shots, and in an effort to keep its large community of artists, orchestra, chorus, staff, and audiences safe, the Metropolitan Opera announced today that it will mandate a Covid booster shot for all those eligible to receive it, beginning January 17, 2022. On that date, entry to the Met will be restricted to those who have received the booster shot, if eligible. Those not yet eligible will be able to continue to enter but must receive the booster shot shortly after they become eligible.
For those who are not eligible for a booster until after January 17, the Met will allow a two-week grace period to schedule and receive the booster upon becoming eligible. After the two weeks have passed, entry will not be allowed until the booster has been received. Recipients of the Pfizer (age 16+) or Moderna (age 18+) vaccines become eligible for a booster six months after their second dose, and recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine become eligible two months after their single dose. The CDC has not yet released booster guidelines for the AstraZeneca vaccine or other vaccines beyond the three previously mentioned. Once guidelines have been announced, the Met will adjust its policy regarding other vaccines accordingly.
This higher level of vigilance is being put into effect in response to the anticipated wider spread of the Omicron variant. The decision was made in consultation with the Met’s health experts at Mount Sinai. The Met reviewed the new policy with the leaders of its various employee unions in advance of the announcement.
“We want everyone who enters our opera house to feel safe,” said Met General Manager Peter Gelb. “We worked hard to reopen in September, and we’re certainly not giving up now. I’m confident that our employees know this action is in their best interests and that our audiences will be in agreement, too.”
Since its reopening on September 27, the Met has presented 59 performances of nine different operas in front of a collective audience of approximately 160,000 audience members. The Met employs up to 3,000 people each day of its season, which stretches from September until June.
“Our population is far larger than any other not-for-profit performing arts organization in the country, which is why we have to be in the vanguard of health and safety,” said Gelb.
The Met instituted a mandatory vaccine policy for its employees when they returned to work over the summer, and audience members have been required to be fully vaccinated since the Met began performing again in September.
Face masks will still be required at all times inside the Met, except when eating or drinking in designated areas.
Further updates on the Met’s health and safety protocols and policies will be provided as needed. These policies are also available at metopera.org/commitment.