Oscar Nominees Qualify as Essential Workers for Academy Awards


Oscar nominees and their guests will qualify as essential workers to attend the upcoming Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in a letter on Tuesday.

“Those involved in the Oscars production, like nominees and their guest, qualify for the essential work purpose waiver, and therefore are permitted to travel to and from the testing center, rehearsals, and Academy-organized activities during the lead up to the Oscars production, including, of course, the award show,” the letter reads. “The organizers of the Oscars are implementing a required quarantine to capture the risk of each person attending the event.”

Producers have continually maintained that the ceremony is being shot like a movie so implementing essential worker status follows the protocol for film and television shoots during the pandemic.

Depending on an individual’s risk assessment, arrival dates to quarantine in time for the Oscars are April 20 for domestic travelers and low-risk international travelers, and April 17 for high-risk international travelers.

“If you travel into Los Angeles County from outside of California, you need to self-quarantine for 10 days after you arrive and may not interact with anyone during those 10 days except the people in your household, i.e. people with whom you live,” the letter continues. “If you travel into Los Angeles County solely for essential work purposes, you still need to self-quarantine (when not working) for 10 days and may not interact with people other than those necessary to conduct your essential work.”

All nominees and guests 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.

The letter offers travel and testing examples. For instance, someone who flies in from London can arrive as late as April 20. “Testing: Pre-travel PCR. You will test mail in/in-person on the 19th (we supply) mail-in/in-person on the 22nd (we supply) and test in-person at the JW Marriott on the morning of the 25th.”

The letter also includes a chart for nominees and guests to best figure out their specific restrictions.

Each nominee and their guests must present a travel and quarantine plan to the Academy for approval. Information is due no later than April 8, with revisions submitted by April 12. All information will be reviewed by the Oscars’ COVID consultant, Dr. Erin Bromage. It will “remain private and be destroyed on or before May 10,” the letter reads.

Reps for the Academy did not comment for this story.

The 93rd Oscars will be broadcast live April 25 on ABC from Union Station in downtown L.A. and the Dolby Theatre.