This year’s Oscars ceremony will not require in-person attendees to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, Variety has confirmed.
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 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.
Last year’s ceremony featured strict COVID-19 testing and masking policies for in-person attendees, in accordance with health and safety protocols. In the year since, vaccines against the virus have become widely available to the general public. Guidelines encouraging proof of vaccination have become commonplace for large-scale events, especially in Los Angeles.
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.
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.
However, it should be noted that 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 is still some time away from lifting its indoor mask mandate. On Tuesday, public health director Barbara Ferrer indicated barring extremely low case levels, the earliest time that mask requirements would likely be reversed is late April, well after the Academy Awards’ March ceremony date.
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.
The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news.