After a 2021 ceremony that saw the Academy Awards downsize to a smaller gathering at Los Angeles’ Union Station, the Oscars will return to its traditional setting and also will not require in-person attendees to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
According to Variety, the Oscars will return to its traditional setting in the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard for its upcoming ceremony on March 27. It is not yet known if the audience size might be reduced this year.
Amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the 2021 ceremony featured strict COVID-19 testing and masking policies for in-person attendees, in accordance with health and safety protocols. Since then, vaccines against the virus have become widely available to the general public. This year, although the Academy will suggest attendees to be vaccinated, the 2022 Oscars ceremony will also require attendees to be tested prior to attending, with unvaccinated guests having additional and more stringent testing requirements, Variety has learned.
Under this rule, the Academy is technically complying with Los Angeles County’s policy on “indoor mega-events,” which require either full vaccination status or day-of negative COVID-19 tests to all attendees ages 2 and older. The Academy has yet to release an official COVID-19 policy for its upcoming ceremony. Reports indicate that the Academy may have elected to take a less strict position on vaccination status as a no-entry policy could have prevented some unvaccinated nominees or presenters from attending the ceremony.
However, other awards events this season, such as the Screen Actors Guild and Critics Choice Association, are still requiring attendees to provide proof of vaccination for their ceremonies. L.A. County has still not lifted its indoor mask mandate.
Variety informed that on Tuesday, public health director Barbara Ferrer indicated barring extremely low case levels, the earliest time that masks requirements would likely be reversed is late April; that means after the ’27 March 2022′ Academy Awards’ ceremony date.