Some entertainment venues across Vermont are now requiring people to have booster shots in order to attend events. They say that this is due to the surge in the omicron variant and also wanting to keep people safe.

Ashley Betton, an actor and singer with the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury says requiring a booster shot to get in “feels like the very least that a lot of venues can do too.” Betton said the pandemic has been a challenge for performers and that wearing a mask has pushed them in new ways.

“It deepens the level of performances that we give because we have to pull more out of ourselves to get past the mask,” Betton said.

The Executive Director of the Town Hall Theater Lisa Mitchell thought it was important for everyone to be vaccinated to the fullest extent possible.

“We want to do our part at Town Hall Theater to reduce community spread and to make sure that our guests and performers and staff, everyone feels comfortable,” Mitchell said.

Despite the booster requirement, the Town Hall Theater does allow unvaccinated guests to come with a PCR test within 72 hours.

ArtsRiot in Burlington will be requiring booster shots starting January 21.

“It was just the logical next step, we have been requiring vaccinations for a month now,” Alan Newman, ArtsRiot owner said.

He also noted that performers reached to him saying that this was something they wanted.

“A couple have made it clear that if we weren’t doing this policy, they would be cancelling,” Newman said.

Betton said that the arts have brought people together throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so.

“The arts connects communities, it connects across borders, it is a great unifying of the human race,” Betton said.