I think that is a factor perhaps (although it is waivable as I recall some places (in the UK?) were at least proposing) but the bigger one is the government support of cultural institutions, whether state owned or not. We've talked a lot about the fact that commercial Broadway cannot function at 30-50% capacity, but neither can our non-profits.
I'm not really sure what Newt's point is. Aside from the fact that (as SF mentions) it is unlikely to be sustainable, and may well come back to bite them in the ass in a horrific way, you can't compare the US and anywhere, not even the UK and certainly not Austria. Two thirds of this country is not welcome in New York right now. Maybe if we could isolate hotspot states the way New York has isolated hotspot neighborhoods there would be a basis for a discussion, but that is not possible. So to me this topic is a red herring, and one that is getting redder by the day.