Broadway's doors closed back in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Broadway theaters seen in New York City
Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Broadway's curtains will finally get to open this spring.

On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the reopening of Broadway productions on May 19, and said most coronavirus-related state capacity restrictions in New York and New Jersey will be lifted that same day.

In the press briefing, Cuomo said many businesses like Broadway "may make their own economic decisions" about when to reopen, and acknowledged the unique schedule the theater industry has that will influence their reopening.

"They have to produce a play before they can sell the play, but from capacity point of view they can all reopen on May 19," Cuomo said.

The state's lift on restrictions comes as COVID-19 vaccination rates increase, with one third of New Yorkers already fully vaccinated and the state's positive cases reaching a new 6-month low.

It's been over a year since Gov. Cuomo announced Broadway productions would stop last March, with the shutdown extended until May 2021 back in October. 

While the state is set to lift restrictions in May, the Broadway League and other leaders in the theater industry have said a September reopening is more likely. 

Cuomo added that live venues, including Broadway, could work around current social distance requirements in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention by demanding guests show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results upon entry.

The reopening initiative will also affect theaters, gyms, museums, restaurants, bars, amusement parks and shops.

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