Performance venues announce proof of vaccine requirement
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Islanders looking for a little culture in their lives now need to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to enjoy an indoor performance, a coalition of nine of the state’s most prominent live performance venues announced Wednesday.
The organizations came to the decision “to provide for the safety of their audiences, artists, staff, and volunteers, based on current scientific evidence and best practices around the country,” they said in a statement.
“While great strides have been made in vaccination rates, the recent rise in cases caused by the delta variant inspired arts, cultural, and entertainment leaders to take these steps,” the venues said.
In lieu of proof of vaccination, patrons can also a provide proof of a negative coronavirus test within the previous 72 hours in the case of a PCR test, or the previous six hours in the case of an antigen test.
All patrons regardless of vaccination status will also be required to wear masks at all times while inside a venue, unless eating or drinking.
The organizations are the Festival Ballet Providence, Gamm Theatre, Island Moving Company, Providence Performing Arts Center, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, Trinity Repertory Company, United Theatre, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, and Wilbury Theatre Group.
The rules are subject to change based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and the evolving circumstances of the pandemic, they said.
The COVID-19 pandemic cost Rhode Island’s hospitality and tourism industry $2.2 billion last year, according to a new study.
The study was commissioned by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and completed by students enrolled in Salve Regina University business professor Samuel Sacco’s introduction to econometrics class, The Newport Daily News reported Tuesday.
It examined the statewide impacts across each of the industry’s four sectors, including food and beverage; events and meetings; lodging; and tourism and attractions.
“Rhode Island’s hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit industries in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dale Venturini, president and CEO of the hospitality association, said in a statement. “Our membership of hoteliers, restaurants and attractions were extremely transparent on overall loss of business, but this study further illustrates the magnitude of the financial impact to the third-largest industry in Rhode Island.”
The students identified closely with the study, said Sacco, because for many of them the pandemic affected their own employment.
Students in Sacco’s class have in previous years completed several other economic impact studies.
Rhode Island College is delaying the start of the fall semester by more than a week to give more students a chance to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The state school announced last week that classes will start on Sept. 8 rather than Aug. 30.
Students are required to be vaccinated to attend on-campus activities.
A college spokesperson told The Providence Journal that currently about 73% of enrolled students have either already provided proof of vaccination or received an exemption.
The school based in Providence has about 7,000 students.