Oscars fear as big nominees contract COVID days before ceremony

Will it still go ahead?

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Will it still go ahead?

The 2022 Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, are set to take place on 27 March, but will air in the UK on 28 March.

However, there are growing fears it may not go ahead after three host-less ceremonies, and celebrity guests, nominees, and presenters will be unable to attend due to COVID-19 scares.

The Sun Online has reported numerous A-listers have contracted coronavirus, and those who have tested positive prior to the annual awards ceremony will not be attending the red carpet bash.

It has been reported half of those nominated for the Best Picture film are battling coronavirus just days ahead of the Oscars, which will take place at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, and was rumoured to see Selena Gomez host the bash.

It has been reported the panic surrounding COVID-19 has been coined the "swab sweat", as all attendees are required to undertake two mandatory PCR tests 48 hours ahead of the event, and nervously await the result.

An insider from United Talent Agency said: "Everyone is dealing with swab sweat.

"You get your nose swabbed and then you are sweating on whether the email will land showing you are positive. It is a really anxious time for major stars and nominees especially, knowing this may be their only chance of glory.

"All the events are asking for testing to show LA authorities they are following guidelines and adhering to the ongoing union-agreed coronavirus measures around live broadcasts.

"The socialising at events all week is obviously a major part of the celebrations, but there is a fear that anyone could innocently pick up Covid simply by mixing with an infected person."

Currently Belfast director and nominee, Sir Kenneth Branagh, is in isolation in LA after he tested positive for COVID-19, and it is feared fellow big names due to attend the ceremony, including Lady Gaga, Dame Judi Dench, Beyonce, Billie Eilish, and many more could be forced to pull out if they were to be struck down with the virus.

The strict testing is also in place for other events, including after parties held by celebrities, who are also requiring antigen tests before arrival.

This comes as a new COVID variant, BA-2 subvariant, has been detected and is said to spread 80% faster than Omicron, and the dominant variant has seen cases rise in the US in recent days.

LA health authorities and event organisers have urged for a stricter policy and safety measures to be put in place to slow the spread of the virus. As a result, masks are still mandatory indoors at hotels, bars and indoors spaces, by guests and staff, including serving staff at the Oscars.

How to watch the Oscars

The Oscars 2022 will air in the UK in the early hours of Monday 28th March, at 1am.

You can watch it here via Now TV, where you can currently get 50% off the Entertainment and TV package or opt for the 7 day free trial.

Maisie Bovingdon

Maisie is a writer and editor, covering Royal News, Showbiz, Lifestyle content, as well as Shopping Writing and E-Commerce, for print and digital publications, including Marie Claire, Hello!, Fabulous, Mail Online and Yahoo!.