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NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera is dropping its vaccination requirement for audiences next season but still will mandate the wearing of masks.

The decision announced Tuesday differentiates the Met from Broadway theaters, which loosened restrictions in July by making mask-wearing optional. In May, most Broadway theaters lifted the requirement that audience members provide proof of vaccination to enter venues.

The Met season opens Sept. 27 with the company premiere of Cherubini’s “Medea” in an Italian translation.

The company returned last season from a 1½ year absence caused by the pandemic, managing 196 staged performances without a cancellation. The Met sold 61% of available tickets, down from 75% in last pre-pandemic season of 2018-19.