The Emmy Awards are about a month away, and the Television Academy is looking to ensure the safety of attendees by moving the Emmys to an outdoor venue in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
The change will affect both the Primetime Emmy Awards, which are taking place on Sept. 19, and the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which will happen on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12. Both ceremonies were to take place indoors at the Emmys' traditional home of the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles and will now take place behind it. Attendance will also be limited for social distancing purposes.
"Preparations for welcoming live audiences to the Creative Arts Emmy Awards and the 73rd Emmy Awards telecast are underway," said the Television Academy in a statement.
"Following discussions with health and safety experts for Los Angeles County and the Emmy ceremonies, the Television Academy has concluded that we must further limit the number of nominees attending the Creative Arts Emmys on Sept. 11 and 12 as well as the 73rd Emmys on Sept. 19."
Invitations to the 2021 Emmy Awards have already been mailed out, meaning some nominees will not be able to attend the scaled-down outdoor event in light of COVID-19 concerns. The updated Emmys will have "nominated teams of three or more will now be limited to no more than four tickets per nomination."
The Television Academy and CBS will host all ceremonies, including The Event Deck at L.A. LIVE, directly behind the Microsoft Theater. The decision allows for more socially-distanced audience seating and a possible indoor/outdoor element.
The Television Academy's change comes as the Delta variant has affected many parts of the world, including the United States. In California, the Delta Plus variant has also been identified. Although California's rate of COVID-19 infections is below the U.S. national average, there is significant concern about how Delta could affect the state, which is the most populous in the country. Hospitalizations in California have doubled over just a few weeks, according to KTLA.
The 2020 Emmy Awards were predominantly a virtual event. Nominees and other attendees Zoomed in to the awards with Emmys statuettes being delivered to winners by couriers in hazmat suits. A select group of presenters and host Jimmy Kimmel were on site at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and they all followed social distancing and COVID-19 protocols.
The 2021 Met Gala is also set to take place in September at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City after the event was cancelled in 2020 and postponed this year from its typical first Monday in May date.
Ahead of the Sept. 13 fashion event, it has been reported all attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and that masks will be mandatory indoors.