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San Diego theater requiring proof of vaccination, negative COVID test to attend shows

Posted at 10:22 AM, Aug 04, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Diego theatre company is getting ready to reopen after being closed since March of last year, but guests will have to do more than just buy a ticket to attend a show. They'll need to show proof of vaccine or provide a negative test result.

The seats inside Cygnet Theatre in Old Town have sat empty for far too long. Once captivating live stage performances were forced online to match state regulations and safety needs of the time.

Now nearly a year and a half into the pandemic, the theatre is about to return.

"What you're seeing in our space is the set we never took it down," said Sean Murray, the theater's artistic director. "We're busy getting the theatre ready for people patrons as well as making the backstage safe."

The first show out: La Cage aux folles. But if you want to get a seat there are some new restrictions.

You'll need to show either proof of vaccination and a photo ID or a negative coronavirus PCR test that must have been taken within 72 hours of the performance date.

Once you get through step one, people who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask. Those who are fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask but at this point, it won't be required.

"It's really to make sure that our patrons feel comfortable inside and safe so they can relax and enjoy a show. So that our staff feels safe interacting with the public and that our actors crew musicians all of the people backstage also feel comfortable," said Murray.

The move is the first from a local professional theatre company but falls in line with recent announcements by some local governments across the state and a handful of Fortune 500 companies.

On Tuesday, New York City announced it will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining and fitness.

Murray says the response has been positive.

"The emails that we got have been thank yous actually," said Murray.

But feedback to the position of any businesses requiring proof of vaccination or testing hasn't been all smiles.

Last week several groups rallied outside San Diego City Hall urging businesses to quote, "Not discriminate against customers who are unvaccinated."

Murray said the theatre's decision is about safety.

"We're really proud of our company for stepping forward," he said.

Murray added that the new rules could change in the future. The first performance is set for next month.