The Academy has spoken. Per the New York Times, most people attending the 2022 Oscars will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Nominees and guests at the March 27 awards ceremony will need to show proof of vaccination and two negative PCR tests. Performers and presenters, on the other hand, will undergo “rigorous testing” but do not need to be vaccinated. According to a spokesperson for the Academy, the decision is in line with safety protocols and return-to-work standards in Los Angeles County.
Meanwhile, mask requirements at the event will also differ. The 94th Academy Awards will be presented at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles in front of an audience of 2,500 people. That represents 75 percent of the Dolby Theatre’s seating capacity, which means some people will be able to sit further apart than normal. Anyone seated in the orchestra and parterre areas will not be required to wear a face covering, but people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in the mezzanine area may be asked to put on a mask. The announcement of the masking and vaccination protocols comes just over a week after The Hollywood Reporter claimed that the Academy was not planning to have any vaccine mandate at all. We wouldn’t be surprised if the resulting social-media backlash influenced the Academy — after all, Twitter is already getting a role in this year’s Oscars broadcast.