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Here’s Why the Oscars Isn’t Requiring Attendees Wear Face Masks While on Camera

Published: (Updated: ) in Celebrity News by .

The ceremony falls under this surprising regulation.

Yes, there’s an explanation as to why guests at the Oscars 2021 aren’t wearing masks at all times—and it has to do with a certain regulation in the state of California.

Attendees at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25, aren’t required to wear face masks during the live ceremony so long as they are on camera at the time. In other words, these famous faces only need to be covered up whenever they’re not being filmed, such as during commercial breaks. This is because the ceremony is held to the same rules as any television or film production in Los Angeles, where masks are not required for people on camera, according to a report by Variety on Monday, April 19.

An Academy staffer explained this mask policy during a virtual press conference with nominees and publicists, Variety reports. The ceremony’s producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Steven Soderbergh explained that masks will “play a very important role” in portraying the theme of the 93rd Academy Awards. “If that’s cryptic, it’s meant to be,” Soderbergh said, as per Variety. “But that topic is very central to the narrative.”

Although celebrities won’t be wearing masks at all times, additional safety measures are in place for the ceremony—and they’re costly. According to The New York Times, a third of the Oscars’ entire production budget has been set aside for COVID-19 safety. Reps for the Academy highlighted these protocols during Monday’s meeting: All guests will be temperature checked once arriving at Union Station, and they will have to have taken at least three COVID-19 tests in the days before the ceremony. According to Variety, audience capacity will also be limited to 170 guests at a time and attendees will be alternated in and out of the audience throughout the show.

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The 93rd Academy Awards airs on Sunday, April 25, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Here’s how to watch it for free.

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