The Oscars 2022 award ceremony is already knocking on the door and is all set to be held on March 27, 2022, at Dolby Theater, Hollywood, Hollywood & Highland. However, just a couple of days before the award show the Academy has decided to tighten up its COVID protocols.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences shared a press release on Friday, March 25, 2022, regarding its updated protocols for COVID-19 precautions for the participants and attendees of the 94th edition of the Academy Awards this Sunday.
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The update in COVID protocols by the Academy has been put into place due to the several COVID cases that emerged after the BAFTA awards 2022 held in London on March 13, 2022, as well as a surge in the BA. 2 variant around the vicinity of Los Angeles in the past few days.
The Academy also revealed that the updates in the protocols have been rolled out after consulting medical practitioners as well as the local authorities. The letter sent out to all concerned includes the following:
“Those who tested positive for COVID-19 and are within a zero to five-day window from the date of their first positive test are not permitted to attend under any circumstances.”
“Those who tested positive for COVID-19 and are within a six to ten-day window from the date of their first positive test are required to provide proof of negative results from two verified PCR, Lucira or Cue Health COVID-19 tests. These tests may not be taken on the same day and must be administered by a verified, medically trained professional.”
“The ten-day window is strictly determined by the date and time of the first positive test (antigen or PCR) from a printed lab report and is not based on a doctor’s note or start of symptoms. If you tested positive after March 17, 2022 at 1pm PT, you are considered within the ten-day window.”
“If you are outside the ten-day window (you tested positive before March 17, 2022 at 1pm PT) and have tested positive on your PCR test taken on March 24, you must provide proof of negative results from a medically supervised antigen test taken on March 26 or March 27.”
The Academy also advised the press representatives to minimize the COVID infection risks by eschewing confined and congested spaces and restraining interactions outside of friends, family, and workmates.
“Social distancing and masking are strongly recommended,” the release stated.
Previously, the Academy Awards relaxed the COVID-19 measures before the ceremony but as it stands, now the participants and attendees will have to comply with a slightly tightened precautionary measure.
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As per an article released by the Independent three days ago, the BAFTAs are accused of a massive infection outbreak and labeled the event as a “COVID super-spreader” show. The 75th edition of the British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFTAs was organized earlier this month, on March 13, 2022, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The article read: “An apparent spread of Covid at the Baftas earlier this month has led to concerns that some of the Oscar nominees who were at the event will not make the Academy Awards on Sunday (28 March).”
According to L.A. County health authorities, the BA.2 variant is said to be 30% more infectious than the deadly Omicron variant. However, the 734 newly reported cases on Thursday are still somewhat less compared to initial upsurges.
The outburst of the new Covid variant had also been a talking point about how it is going to have a great impact on upcoming events like the Academy Awards. The Academy required the award event attendants to be completely vaccinated after March 11, 2022, in its recent COVID prevention procedures that were released earlier.
Also, that instruction included it is mandatory to take two PCR tests for the attendees, one test should be taken on March 24 and the other one on the day prior to the event, on March 26. Masks were not required that time for attendees to wear inside the venue, Dolby Theatre. But as per the new release that is the result of the Bafta COVID spread, the updated rules recommended strongly wearing masks and the social distancing rule as well.
The requirements for the members of the press also requires two COVID-19 tests, the first test should also be a PCR test and the second one can be either a Lucira or Cue Health test or a PCR test, excluding those who are recently infected and are in days 6 out of 10 of their infection. In these circumstances, two negative tests of PCR will be mandatory, and no one who is infected within 0 to 5 days will be allowed to attend the event.
The 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 27, at 5 p.m. local time at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. There was a lot of buzz going around this prestigious event but it seems that COVID has once again struck out the normality from an otherwise lively and glorious event.