After more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, strict social distancing, and mask mandates, a some viewers were startled—and maybe even a little unsettled—to tune into the 2021 Oscars and see a room full of unmasked faces. So why exactly was nobody wearing a mask at the ceremony? You’ll be relieved to hear that the whole setup was a lot safer than it looked.
Regina King did explain all of the ceremony’s safety protocols in her opening speech, but if you missed it, here’s the gist: Everybody attending the ceremony was required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and were tested on multiple occasions to make sure they were negative. And although it looks as though most people are maskless, that’s not actually the case; everybody in attendance has a mask, and has been instructed to wear it whenever the cameras aren’t rolling.
“Think of this as a movie set—an Oscars movie with a cast of over 200 nominees,” King explained. “People have been vaxxed, tested, re-tested, socially distanced, and we are following all of the rigorous protocols that got us back to work safely. So, just like on a movie set, when we’re rolling, masks off, and when we’re not rolling, masks on.”
But of course, attendees are welcome to exercise as much caution as they want to. You might have noticed that Frances McDormand kept her mask on throughout the telecast.
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