Oscar nominees, guests will qualify as essential workers to attend Academy Awards

Oscar nominees and their guests will qualify as essential workers in Los Angeles to attend events surrounding the Academy Awards.

A letter sent out Tuesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, obtained by USA TODAY, announced that those involved in the April 25 Oscars – which will include nominees and guests – will qualify for the essential work purpose waiver and will be allowed to travel to and from the testing center, rehearsals, and other Academy-organized activities during the lead up to the award show.

Oscar organizers also are implementing a required quarantine of each person attending the event depending on risk assessment. Arrival dates for the Oscars are April 20 for domestic travelers and low-risk international travelers, and April 17 for high-risk international travelers.

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Produced by Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh, this year’s Oscars will primarily be held at Los Angeles’ historic Union Station, with additional events at the show’s traditional home, Dolby Theatre.

To keep attendees – limited to nominees, their guests and presenters – safe, producers are treating the “event as an active movie set,” including an on-site COVID safety team with PCR testing capability.

But before they get there, each nominee and guest must have a minimum of two COVID-19 PCR tests performed by the Academy’s vendor and a total of three tests in the week leading up to the Oscars, as well as presenting a travel and quarantine plan to the Academy for approval.

As for those out of the country, producers told nominees last week in a virtual meeting that they’ve added a British hub after some backlash about international travel restrictions. The show is also working with local broadcast affiliates around the world to provide satellite links for other international nominees to appear virtually.

Contributing: Bryan Alexander, Associated Press

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