Celebrities and performers making their way to New York for this year's MTV Video Music Awards will not be subject to the state's 14-day coronavirus quarantine mandate, the New York State Department of Health confirmed to CBS News Monday. The DOH explained that the VMAs applied for an exemption that would allow individuals coming from travel advisory states to participate in the show, similar to that granted to professional sports teams.
"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 said.
The award show is scheduled for Aug. 30, and will take place outdoors without an audience. The location of the show is being kept private to prevent crowds from forming. There will still be safety procedures and testing in place, a City Hall spokesperson told The New York Post. "The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Citywide Events is working in close coordination with the production to ensure guidelines are being followed," they explained. "[Performers] will only interact with other members of the cast and crew and will quarantine when not working."
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus are among the stars scheduled to perform at the event, hosted by Keke Palmer. Rapper Roddy Ricch was originally scheduled to perform, but announced Saturday he had called off his performance due to "COVID compliance issues." He wrote on Instagram, "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. My team and I are safe and everyone's health is a main priority, as well as giving a quality performance."
The news of the VMAs exemption comes just one week after Gov. Andrew Cuomo added two more states to the list of New York's mandatory quarantine list, bringing the total to 33 as the city attempts to recover from a devastating first wave of the virus. Cuomo also recently issued an executive order stating any person who violates the 14-day quarantine order is subject to a fine up to $10,000 or up to 15 days in jail.