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BSO and Boston Ballet to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Guests at Symphony Hall will now be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances.David L Ryan/Globe staff/file

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Ballet announced Tuesday that audience members will be required to provide either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances during the upcoming season.

The BSO’s updated protocols, effective Sept. 30 through Nov. 30, extend to all events at Symphony Hall, such as performances by Handel and Haydn Society, Celebrity Series of Boston, and the Boston Speaker Series.

Boston Ballet, which performs at the Citizens Bank Opera House, said its updated protocols will remain in effect for the entire 2021-2022 season.

Both organizations said they would accept a negative test within 72 hours of the performance or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of the performance. Proof of vaccination may include either a vaccination card or a photo of the card. The symphony said it would also accept a “digital vaccine record.”


In keeping with the city’s recent mask mandate, both organizations also will require patrons to wear masks while indoors.

“By requiring vaccinations and masks, we hope that people will feel comfortable at concerts and know that we are doing all we can to create a safe environment to gather for the collective experience of live music,” BSO president and chief executive Gail Samuel said in a statement. “We look forward to opening our doors and welcoming everyone — from loyal patrons to first-time visitors — to the BSO’s home.”

The symphony and the ballet are the latest performing arts groups to require proof of vaccination. A group of 15 theater producers and venues announced similar measures earlier this month.

“We care deeply about the well-being and safety of our audiences, artists, and staff, and have been closely monitoring the evolving CDC guidance on COVID and its impact on our community,” Meredith (Max) Hodges, executive director of the Boston Ballet, said in a statement to the Globe. “We’ve been especially heartened by the strong consensus on audience safety among Boston’s performing arts sector, and we created these policies in close alignment with those of our Boston peers.”


Malcolm Gay can be reached at Follow him @malcolmgay.