Oscars to require Covid-19 vaccination for nominees and guests, but not performers and presenters

This marks a clarification of the Academy’s COVID-19 policy, as it was reported on Feb. 9 that the Oscars would not require attendees to provide proof of vaccination.

The Oscar statuettes backstage during the 93rd Annual Academy Awards on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles.Richard Harbaugh / A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images file
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This year’s Academy Awards will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for most — but not all — inside the Dolby Theater, Variety has confirmed.

As the New York Times first reported, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences determined on Thursday that all nominees and invited guests must show proof of vaccination and test negative at least twice via PCR testing. Those performing and presenting at the awards ceremony, on the other hand, will not need to show proof of vaccination, but will be tested rigorously.

This marks a clarification of the Academy’s COVID-19 policy, as it was reported on Feb. 9 that the Oscars would not require attendees to provide proof of vaccination. According to a source close to the situation, the decision to not require proof of vaccination for presenters and performers falls under the COVID-19 return-to-work agreement between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and unions. The agreement gives production companies the option to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for Zone A — the production’s cast and the crew working closest with the actors — but it is not a requirement.

This year’s Oscars ceremony will invite 2,500 nominees and guests to the Dolby Theater, which typically seats over 3,300 people. According to the Times, guests and nominees seated in the orchestra and parterre sections of the theater will not be required to wear face masks. However, those seated in the mezzanine may face a mask requirement as they will be more tightly situated.

As COVID-19 cases decline in the Los Angeles area, other large companies and events are loosening their COVID-19 policies as well. As of this week, Disney theme parks no longer require fully vaccinated guests to wear masks. And on Tuesday, Coachella announced that there will be no proof of COVID-19 vaccination or testing required to attend the upcoming festival in April. Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ indoor masking mandate is expected to possibly lift in late March — but whether that would be before or after the March 27 event has not yet been decided.