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Academy Awards won't make face masks mandatory during next week's ceremony

The Academy Awards won't make face masks mandatory during the ceremony on Monday.

An Oscar statue appears outside the Dolby Theatre for the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Source: Associated Press

The organisers of the annual event have confirmed to Variety that nominees, their guests, award presenters and other attendees won't be required to cover their noses and mouths while they're being filmed.

However, when people are not on camera, they'll be instructed to wear their masks in order to reduce the risk of infection.

This means that during commercial breaks, for instance, the attendees will be told to don their masks.

The overarching ambition behind the plan is to ensure that the Oscars remain an attractive TV spectacle.

A number of additional measures are also being put in place by the organisers to help safeguard the attendees, with a third of the total budget for the event reportedly dedicated to coronavirus-secure measures.

The audience capacity will be limited to 170 people, while audience members will also be rotated in and out of the ceremony in Los Angeles.

The guests have all been instructed to take at least three Covid-19 tests in the days leading up to the ceremony and they will also have their temperatures checked before they're permitted to enter the ceremony.

The red carpet has already been scaled down and the award winners are set for virtual press conferences after the event.

Steven Soderbergh, the co-producer of this year's ceremony, recently confirmed that face masks would play "a very important role in the story" of the awards show.

The 58-year-old film director hinted at some of the safety measures in place ahead of the event, but refused to go into specific details.

Asked about the Covid-related precautions, he said: "If that’s cryptic, it’s meant to be. That topic is very central to the narrative."

The filmmaker also admitted he was hoping to create a movie-like feel to the show.

He explained: "We can control that image, we can control the sound, we can make it feel more integrated into the overall feeling of the show."