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Playhouse Square and Severance Hall requiring vaccination or proof of negative COVID-19 test

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Posted at 3:40 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 16:23:18-04

CLEVELAND — This fall, Playhouse Square and Severance Hall will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend indoor performances.

Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square said this will build another layer of protection onto its already existing mask policy introduced earlier in the summer. The new vaccine/proof of negative test requirement goes into effect on Sept. 30.

“From the momentum we have created with the successful run of THE CHOIR OF MAN, we are building toward full-capacity performances for the return of Broadway, our beloved resident companies, concerts and comedy shows,” said Playhouse Square President and CEO Gina Vernaci. “We are all eager to enjoy live performances together again; the vaccination requirement being enacted by Playhouse Square and venues across the country enables us to maintain our forward motion responsibly. Our first priority is always the safety of our audiences, staff, volunteers and the artists who visit us, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to Playhouse Square for a safe and memorable experience.”

Playhouse Square has released the following guidance about the decision:

Ticket holders who have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms are asked to remain at home and contact Playhouse Square to discuss flexible options for their tickets.
  • All audience members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • “Fully vaccinated” means that 14 days have passed since either the second shot of a CDC or WHO-approved two-shot vaccine or since the administration of a CDC or WHO-approved one-shot vaccine.
  • Audience members who cannot be vaccinated will be required to provide proof of a negative test result from a lab-certified antigen COVID-19 test taken within six hours prior to entering the theater or a negative test result from a PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to entering the theater. Tests are available free of charge at local drugstores. More information is available on local or state Department of Health websites.
  • Children age two and under are not permitted in Playhouse Square venues at any time.
  • All guests are required to wear masks inside Playhouse Square theaters and lobbies at all times except when consuming food or beverage in designated locations. Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted.
  • These protocols are subject to change. The most up-to-date protocols are available at

"Playhouse Square understands the concerns that may arise when buying tickets to future events. If ticket holders become unwell or have concerns about attending a show, flexible options are available," the venue said in a statement.

In addition to the vaccine and mask requirement, Playhouse Square said it uses"HVAC technology, including air handlers equipped with MERV 13 rated filters, which are known to trap COVID-19 particles. As an additional measure, GPS brand bi-polar ionization, which is known to reduce risk from COVID-19, has been installed in our HVAC system."

Severance Hall
Starting on Sept. 15, anyone attending a show at Severance Hall must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test as well as wear a mask. A negative test result must be from within three days of the show you are attending.

"These requirements were developed in response to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant, and they will remain in place until further notice," Severance Hall's management said in a statement.

If you are a ticket holder and unable to provide verification of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, you can contact the ticket office to request a refund.

“Severance Hall is coming to life again, and we are working diligently to prepare for the Orchestra’s return to live, in-person concerts this fall with music director Franz Welser-Möst,“ said André Gremillet, President & CEO of The Cleveland Orchestra. “We are eager to welcome our audiences for our first public concerts in over 18 months at Severance Hall. As we collectively continue to face this pandemic, we have given serious consideration to all aspects of this constantly evolving situation, and we developed this policy in consultation with our partners at the Cleveland Clinic."

Gremillet continued, "We strongly believe that the policies we are putting in place are essential to ensure the health and well-being of musicians performing on stage, the staff and volunteers who help make concerts and events possible, and our audience members who trust us to provide them with a safe environment when they come to our hall to hear great music. We remain extremely grateful to all our audience members for their understanding, and for their flexibility, so that we can come together once again to enjoy the extraordinary power of live music inside Severance Hall.”

Severance Hall's COVID-19 safety requirements:

Proof of Vaccination or Negative PCR Test
Guests will be required to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination of a World Health Organization (WHO) or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved or authorized vaccine, with vaccination completed at least two weeks prior to the performance date. Alternatively, guests who cannot be vaccinated may provide proof of a negative PCR test that has been completed within 72 hours of performance date. Ticket holders will receive specific instructions on how to provide this information for entry in advance of the performance or event.Proof of vaccination or negative test must be presented every time when entering Severance Hall through one of the following methods:

  • Touchless verification using the CLEAR App
  • Showing original vaccination card or a photograph of it on a cellphone, along with a valid driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID

Face Mask Requirement
Every guest, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a face covering at all times and in all areas of Severance Hall, including while seated during the performance. Face coverings should be worn properly, covering the nose and mouth, and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standards. Neck gaiters and bandanas are not permitted. Patrons arriving without appropriate face coverings will be provided a disposable face mask upon entry to Severance Hall.

Children under the age of 12
Children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated must provide a proof of a negative PCR test that has been completed within 72 hours of the performance date and wear a mask at all times at concerts and events at Severance Hall.These requirements will be in place on an ongoing basis, subject to regular review and re-evaluation as the situation continues to evolve.

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