The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed that all nominees and the 2,500-person audience will have to show proof-of-vax, as well as at least two negative P.C.R. covid tests. However, any performers or presenters involved in the show will not be required to show they’re vaccinated against Covid, and will only have to show a negative test result.
Per an Academy spokesperson, the Covid safety arrangement for this year’s Oscars is in line with standards on television production sets, as well as Los Angeles County return-to-work rules. A rep for the Academy did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
The Academy is still figuring out its masking policy for this year’s show, too. People seated in the mezzanine may be required to wear masks, as they’ll be sitting next to each other. But those in the orchestra and parterre areas — i.e. the nominees and their guests — won’t have to wear masks as they’ll be more spaced out (the Dolby Theater, where the Oscars will be held, can seat over 3,000 people, but the Academy is capping attendance at 2,500). A final policy hasn’t been announced yet as the Academy continues to work with government and health officials.
The Oscars’ Covid plan comes a week after a story in The Hollywood Reporter stated that no one would have to show proof of vax and that only a negative Covid test would be required. The backlash, however, to that report was swift, with former Oscars host Seth MacFarlane prominently criticizing the Academy over that reported decision. (The Academy did not publicly comment on THR’s story, but officials stated that no decision had actually been made at the time.)
The 94th Academy Awards will take place on March 27. Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall will share hosting duties, marking the first time in three years the Oscars will have dedicated hosts for the ceremony.