Performers at 2020 VMAs Not Required to Quarantine Like Other Travelers from COVID-19 Hotspots
Celebrities traveling to perform at the 2020 Video Music Awards in New York City will not be subjected to the statewide mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed on travelers coming from areas with high rates of COVID-19.
New York State Department of Health (DOH) officials told CBS News that they made an exception for VMA performers after MTV applied to let any cast and crew coming from travel advisory states to participate in the show.
"Similar to professional athletes, the VMA cast and crew are required to adhere to strict procedures which include quarantining when not working, wearing masks and appropriate social distancing, and rigorous testing during their stay. Exemptions to the travel advisory, which The Department has granted on a case by case basis, include individuals who have traveled to New York for medical procedures or funerals, as examples," the DOH told CBS in a statement.
There is currently over 30 states under the travel advisory, which was imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June. These include California, Florida, Illinois and Tennessee — just to name a few.
In August, New York City's Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that out-of-state travelers could face up to $10,000 in fines for breaking their 14-day quarantine, according to the New York Post. The statewide fine was set at $2,000 in June.
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Earlier this month, MTV announced the annual awards show will not be held indoors at New York's Barclays Center as previously planned, but rather feature live outdoor performances throughout the city with limited or no audiences.
"The 2020 VMAs will be held on Sunday, August 30, and pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York with several outdoor performances around the City with limited or no audience, adhering to all state and city guidelines," MTV said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
The statement continued, "In close consultation with state and local health officials, it became clear at this time that outdoor performances with limited or no audience would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event. The VMAs will highlight the boroughs in an exciting show and return to Barclays Center in 2021. MTV will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, state and local officials, the medical community, and key stakeholders to ensure the safety of all involved."
A few of the star's slated to perform include Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande — who lead this year's nominations with nine nods each — as well as Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, BTS (the K-pop band's TV debut of their English-only single "Dynamite"), the Black Eyed Peas, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Maluma and CNCO.
Ricch, 21, confirmed the news with a statement on his Instagram Story Saturday.
"Unfortunately, I won't be performing at this year's VMAs as announced. My team and I did everything in our power to make this work, due to COVID compliance issues at the last minute we had to call off the performance," the rapper said. "My team and I are safe and everyone's health is a main priority, as well as giving a quality performance. I appreciate MTV for the opportunity to perform and I hope I can see y'all next year. STAY SAFE."
Balvin, who has yet to publicly confirm the news, said earlier this month that he was recovering from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
"At this moment, I'm just getting better from COVID-19. These have been very difficult days, very complicated. Sometimes we won't think that we'll get it, but I got it and I got it bad," Balvin said, according to Billboard.
Both Maluma and CNCO are also enforcing strict rules and guidelines for fans who plan to participate in the live performance.
TMZ reported that only fans who live near New York City will be allowed to attend. They will be granted one guest, but only if that guest lives with them or is part of their household. Then, potential attendees have to get a COVID-19 test on August 23 and self-isolate with their guest until the August 30 show.
The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards airs live on Aug. 30, at 8 p.m. ET.
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