'Saturday Night Live' bringing live audience back with strict coronavirus restrictions

Joe Piscopo on Eddie Murphy’s ‘SNL’ Cosby joke

Former ‘SNL’ cast member Joe Piscopo on Eddie Murphy making a joke while he was hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ about Bill Cosby.

“Saturday Night Live” will debut Season 46 this week with strict rules to allow a live studio audience to return to the beloved sketch show.

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After shutting down due to the coronavirus, “Saturday Night Live” is returning to the famous Studio 8H to bring viewers a small sense of normalcy amid the ongoing pandemic. Part of that includes getting an audience back. However, in order to ensure the safety of the cast, crew and attendees, tickets for the dress rehearsal and the live show come with a lengthy list of stipulations.

Guests to the studio will be forced to take a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival. The test is self-administered and can yield results in time for the show. As an extra precaution, temperature checks will also be required at check-in, according to the ticket website. If anyone has a temperature higher than 100.4 both they and their party will not be allowed in.

Chris Rock will be the first host to return to “SNL” at Studio 8H since the coronavirus pandemic began. (Will Heath/NBC)

Additionally, face masks will be required for audience members at all times while in the building, with strict rules about what does and does not count as a protective face covering. Bandanas, gaiters and masks with vents will not be allowed inside.

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Finally, potential audience members will have to answer a series of questions relating to their health such as “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?” and more.

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While the requirements may sound restrictive, the Oct. 3 live show is already sold out of tickets. However, that’s likely buffered by the fact that the show allowed health care workers to have free tickets to the Season 46 premiere, according to the New York Post.

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Chris Rock will host the episode with Megan Thee Stallion as the musical guest.

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