Wednesday, March 22

Oscars to require COVID tests for all, vaccines for most

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will require attendees of the 94th Oscars ceremony in March to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and at least two negative results from PCR tests, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

Performers and presenters at the film industry’s highest honors also must undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, but will not need to show proof of vaccination, the source said.

Face covering requirements will vary at the event on March 27 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, according to the source.

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Nominees and their guests in lower sections of the theater will not be required to wear masks. They will be seated with more distance than usual between groups, the source said. The Dolby seats 3,317 people and 2,500 people will be invited.

Those seated in the mezzanine may be required to wear masks, as they will sit shoulder-to-shoulder. COVID-19 cases are declining in Los Angeles County and organizers are consulting with government officials and infectious disease experts.

The vaccination policies were first reported by the New York Times.

Comic actor Amy Schumer, actress Regina Hall and fellow comedian Wanda Sykes, will host the awards, the first time three women will emcee the Oscars. (Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Christian Schmollinger )