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This is why you won't see the stars wearing masks at the Oscars

All the Covid-19 protocols for the night explained...

Eve Crosbie

Unlike this year's Golden Globes and BAFTAs, you can expect the Oscars this weekend to look a little more "normal".

MORE: Everything you need to know about the 2021 Oscars

Not only are the awards going to be given out in person, but all the famous faces in attendance - including nominees, their plus-ones and the A-list presenters - will not be required to wear protective face mask coverings while cameras are rolling.

But given that America is still, like the rest of the world, deep in the throes of the pandemic, many have been left wondering how a maskless ceremony is possible. Here's what we know...

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This year's Academy Awards will be held across two main venues, Hollywood's Dolby Theatre and downtown Los Angeles' historic Union Station, in a bid to keep the night as socially distanced as possible. It's believed the latter of these two, which spans a whopping 161,000 square feet, is where the most important awards of the night will be given out.

The audience has been capped at just 170 people, much lower than the usual thousands who attend and it's believed that they'll be rotated in and out of the event space throughout the evening.

MORE: Amanda Seyfried has best reaction to first-time Oscar nomination

Most importantly, though, the live broadcast is being treated as it were a TV show. As a result, protocols set out in the state of California for television and film production will be followed, allowing those appearing on camera to go without masks.

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Winners will be taking to the stage to accept their awards

When those in attendance are not on camera, they will be asked to put their face masks on and it's likely that the majority of the crew working behind-the-scenes are also masked up. Attendees are also required to take at least three COVID-19 tests ahead of the night and have their temperatures taken at the door before entry is permitted. 

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Nominees and presenters will not be required to wear protective face mask covering

According to reports, a third of the production budget has been allotted to COVID-19 safety protocols however, the intention isn't to make viewers at home forget about the global health crisis. In fact, according to the organisers, the impact of coronavirus will be highlighted throughout the show. 

MORE: The winner of 'the best Oscars dress of all time' has been revealed

During a virtual press conference, producers Steven Soderbergh, Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher revealed that masks will "play a very important role" in the story that the ceremony is trying to convey. "If that's cryptic, it's meant to be," Steven said. "But that topic is very central to the narrative." 

The event will air live from 8pm ET/5pm PT on ABC and UK viewers will be able to watch the full broadcast on the dedicated Sky Cinema Oscars channel starting at 1am on Monday 26 April. 

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