‘SNL’ Preps for Live Studio Audience With Temperature Checks, Testing and Mandatory Masks

Saturday Night Live is officially back next weekend, returning to home sweet home in Studio 8H. Also returning? A live studio audience who is actually sitting in the room, not tuning in from screens Black Mirror style. Of course, the comedy show also has to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, so the process for getting a coveted SNL ticket is a little different this year.

According to TVInsiderSNL has a list of coronavirus protocols in place to keep both audiences and performers safe. For one, anyone requesting a ticket to a dress rehearsal or a live show has to stick with their “social bubble.” So, if you’re requesting tickets, it needs to be for people you’re already seeing. SNL defines the social bubble as “a group of people related to unrelated, who have repeatedly entered into close contact (defined as less than six feet), with all others in that group, on multiple occasions prior to the night of the show.”

For the lucky few who are selected, there are more steps in place once they arrive to watch the show. Every audience member must first take a self-administered Covid-19 test, and will get the results back before the show begins. SNL will also be checking everyone’s temperature, sending away anyone who comes in with a temp of 100.4 or higher. And if you’re perfectly healthy, but someone in your party has that dreaded 100.4, you could be out, too — SNL may deny admission to anyone who comes in with a high temp, and entire parties will be sent away if anyone tests positive for the virus.

Before they’re admitted into the building, SNL audience members also must answer the following questions: Are you exhibiting any symptoms related to COVID-19? Have you exhibited any symptoms to COVID-19 in the last 14 days? Have you had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 14 days? Have you been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, or anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, within the past 14 days? Have you traveled to any of the following states in the past 14 days?

After guests have answered the questions, cleared the temperature checks and tested negative for coronavirus, they’ll be admitted into the show, but they still need to wear a mask for the entire time they’re in the building. And not just any mask will do; bandanas, gaiters, and masks with vents are not permitted as proper face coverings.

SNL returns for the Season 46 premiere Oct. 3 with alum Chris Rock hosting and rapper Megan Thee Stallion making her debut as a musical guest on the show. While SNL closed out last season with shows filmed and produced from home, they’re finally back months later — but they’re still not taking any chances with the coronavirus.