KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee and Bijou theatres said they have decided to suspend blanket COVID-19 entry policies for performances.
Both said COVID-19 conditions have been improving in the East Tennessee area, so they said they are working to ensure the show goes on.
Even though masks and vaccine requirements are no longer in place as a default, the theaters said they will still add those requirements if specifically asked to by performers.
"We encourage those who are eligible to get the vaccine. If you don't feel comfortable coming to the theatre for any reason, that's okay, too. We will still be here when you're ready to come back," Tennessee Theatre executive director Becky Hancock said. "Being closed for 15 months, we lost almost 90% of our revenues. We do not want to go back there."
Masks are still strongly encouraged.
"We will continue to evaluate local conditions, monitor public health officials' recommendations, and modify the protocols as necessary," the theater posted on its Facebook page.
Multiple downtown music venues announced in late August that patrons would have to present proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event date. Additionally, masks were required regardless of vaccination status.
The Bijou announced that a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours or proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a photo ID is required for the Steep Canyon Rangers show on Jan. 22 and for the Wood Brothers show on April 6 and 7.