DENVER – All resident companies of downtown Denver’s Performing Arts Complex will require COVID-19 vaccines and face masks for indoor, public performances starting Oct. 1, officials with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) announced Wednesday.
That means patrons ages 12 and older wishing to attend performances of the Colorado Ballet, the Colorado Symphony, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Opera Colorado will be required to show proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. DCPA officials said they are currently determining the process to verify vaccine information.
Children under the age of 12, who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, will instead be required to provide results of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within six hours of the performance start time, DCPA officials said in a news release.
All audience members ages 2 and up will also be required to wear masks unless they're eating and drinking in designated areas. Food and drink will no longer be allowed inside the theatre, DCPA officials said.
The new rules will continue indefinitely.
“Over the past 18 months, the health of our extended theatre family has never been more top of mind,” said Janice Sinden, DCPA President & CEO. “We want our patrons to thoroughly enjoy our return to the stage knowing that we have done our best to ensure their wellbeing.”
Additionally, Sinden said, the DCPA will introduce touchless digital tickets to limit hand-to-hand contact between ticket holders and staff.
The new policy applies to all ticketed public performance taking place in Boettcher Concert Hall, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and the Buell, Garner Galleria, Wolf, Kilstrom, Singleton and Jones theatres, the release stated.
DCPA officials said Wednesday’s announcement comes after months of audience surveys, which found the vast majority of people would be more likely to attend performances if a vaccination requirement were to be implemented.
The new policy makes no mention of medical or religious exemptions, and differs from mandates imposed in countries like France, where people are allowed to show proof that they’re recovering from a prior COVID-19 infection for a period of up to six months in order to eat out, go to museums or enter a movie theater.
A recent AP-NORC poll found close to 6 in 10 people in the U.S. favor requiring COVID-19 vaccine mandates to attend crowded public events like concerts, sporting events or movies. That number drops to 5 in 10 to go out to a bar or restaurant.