How Saturday Night Live Is Able to Have a Live Audience Amid COVID Restrictions

Season 46 of Saturday Night Live premiered on Oct. 3 with Chris Rock as host and Megan Thee Stallion as the performer. Unlike last season, the show once again had a live audience and was back in Studio 8H at New York City's Rockefeller Center. So, how did SNL make this happen?

According to the SNL ticket site, all guests will be required to take a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival and temperature checks will also be administered. Approved face coverings will be required and audience members will be asked a series of questions prior to admission, such as "Have you exhibited any symptoms to COVID-19 in the last 14 days?" and "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?" Anyone who has a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be granted admission, and neither will their party. The New York Times also reported that in order to adhere to the guidelines of prohibiting "live audiences unless they consist only of paid employees, cast and crew," SNL audience members received a $150 check to watch the show.