This year’s Oscars will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for most – but not all – of the Dolby Theater, Variety has confirmed.
As New York Times first reported, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided Thursday that all nominated and invited guests must show proof of vaccination and test negative at least twice via PCR testing. Those who appear and present at the award ceremony, on the other hand, do not have to present proof of vaccination, but will be tested strictly.
This marks a clarification of the Academy’s COVID-19 policy when it was reported on 9 February that Oscars would not demand participants to provide evidence of vaccination. According to a source close to the situation, the decision not to require proof of vaccination falls on presenters and performers under the COVID-19 agreement on return to work between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and trade unions. The agreement allows production companies to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for Zone A – the cast of production and the crew working closest to the actors – but this is not a requirement.
The 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 sitting in the theater’s orchestra and party sections will not be required to wear face masks. However, those sitting in the mezzanine may face a mesh requirement as they will be located closer.
As COVID-19 cases fall in the Los Angeles area, other big companies and events are also loosening their COVID-19 policies. As of this week, Disney theme parks no longer require fully vaccinated guests to wear masks. And Tuesday d. Coachella announced that no proof of COVID-19 vaccination or testing is required to attend the upcoming festival in April. Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ indoor masking mandate is expected to do so possibly lift at the end of March – but whether it will be before or after the event on March 27 has not yet been decided.