COVID-19 safety requirements for the 2022 Oscars will vary depending on whether attendees are presenting an award or not, as the Academy is only requiring proof of vaccination for nominees and audience members.
According to the New York Times, performers and presenters will be rigorously tested but will not have to show proof of vaccination. This is because they are considered part of a television production subject to the Return to Work Agreement that governs COVID protocols for all film and TV shoots and which gives productions the option of whether to enforce vaccine mandates.
But the decision to require the vast majority of the 2,500 people who will attend the Oscars to show their vaccine cards is a reversal from reports last week that the Academy was considering not having any vaccine mandates at all, which received backlash from some Academy members. In addition to the vaccination record, audience members will have to show proof of at least two negative PCR tests taken just prior to the event.
As for masks, the Academy is also considering requiring mask wearing at all times for audience members in the upper seating levels, where attendees are more closely packed and where nominees are not seated.
The new rules come amid a nationwide trend of state and local officials loosening or entirely lifting COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates. While Los Angeles County has been slower to loosen those restrictions, this week the county’s Department of Public Health lifted mask mandates for public outdoor settings, though such mandates are still in effect for indoor areas.