If you’re ready to start heading back to indoor performances this coming season, leaders from nine of Sarasota County’s major arts organizations want you to know they are taking new measures to keep everyone safe during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

In a press release sent out this morning, those leaders referred to “an increasing number of patrons and artists” who are uncomfortable participating “without strong health and safety protocols in place.” Also mentioned: the risk of being unable to welcome audiences and artists, jeopardizing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in arts spending.

The March 2021 initiative #SafeArtsSarasota has helped local arts group to safely reopen after being shuttered throughout the pandemic. Now, representatives from Asolo Repertory Theatre, Circus Arts Conservatory, Florida Studio Theatre, The Hermitage Artist Retreat, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Orchestra, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, working with the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, are taking the next steps needed.

Effective Sept. 26, 2021, these organizations will implement the following policy:

All patrons age 12 and older attending a performance indoors must show either a negative PCR Covid-19 test administered by a medical provider/official testing center no earlier than 72 hours before the time of performance or a negative rapid antigen Covid-19 test administered by a medical provider/official testing center no earlier than 24 hours prior to time of performance. Home testing kits will not be accepted for entry. Both physical and electronic presentation of documents will be accepted. Photo ID must accompany the documents.

If patrons prefer, CDC or other official vaccination records showing the patrons are fully vaccinated (at least 14 days since the final dose) may be voluntarily presented as an alternative to negative Covid-19 test results.

All patrons age 6 and up, regardless of vacation or testing status, must wear masks to cover their noses and mouths at all times while inside the venue.

Protocols will continue to be revisited and revised, and patrons are encouraged to check the individual websites of the arts organizations for details and refund policies.