When Bruce Springsteen returns to the stage in New York next week, fans won’t have to have been born in the USA to get in – but it will help if they’ve been vaccinated there.
The first Broadway show to reopen since last March will require attendees to show proof of their inoculations. However, only vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration will be accepted.
So far, that list is limited to Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson, meaning any prospective concert-goers who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, will be denied entry.
The show, billed as “an intimate night with Bruce, his guitar, a piano, and his stories” will run five nights a week at the St James theatre.
“At the direction of New York State, Springsteen on Broadway and the St James Theatre will only be accepting proof of FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccines,” the website says.
Anyone who has received another jab, or is unwilling or unable to have a vaccine will not be allowed to attend.
The news has been met with disappointment just hours north, across the Canadian border, where more than 1.7 million people have had the Oxford-developed vaccine.
“No Springsteen on Broadway for me,” wrote fan Gianna Valencia on Twitter, accompanied by a crying face.
“Burn in the USA” ran the headline in the Toronto Star, which added: “The show must go on. But if you got the AstraZeneca vaccine, you’re not invited.”
The jab, which has been rolled out across the UK, and was injected into the arm of the Prime Minister, came under scrutiny after a small number of people suffered blood clots after receiving their dose.
The NHS says that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is “safe and tested and will protect you against serious illness from Covid-19.”
In the UK, ministers have discussed the use of vaccine passports to allow large events to take place, but appear to have cooled on the proposals.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has pledged to reopen his theatres without social distancing later this month “come hell or high water” – and is prepared to be arrested for it.
In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Lord Lloyd-Webber said his theatres were suffering “acute financial stress” that could only be alleviated by fully reopening, which he was willing to do even if the Government delayed ending Covid-19 restrictions.
When pressed on the comments, Boris Johnson said that Lord Lloyd-Webber’s production of Cinderella could receive special dispensation, heading off a potential showdown.
“I’ve got colossal admiration for Andrew Lloyd Webber. The entire theatre sector is one of the great glories of this country. On Cinderella, I think we’re in talks with him to try and make it work, and we’ll do whatever we can to be helpful,” Mr Johnson said.
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