New York Is Relaxing Mandatory Quarantine Rules for VMAs Talent, But There Are Protocols in Place

While the two- week quarantine rule is waived, other requirements and limitations remain in place.

A travel advisory signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 24 orders travelers from more than 30 other states or territories with high rates of COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in New York.

But exceptions are made for certain sports and entertainment figures who travel to the state. Artists traveling to New York City for the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday (Aug. 30) will not have to spend two weeks in quarantine.

According to a CBS News report, based on an email exchange with New York State Department of Health (DOH) officials, the VMAs applied to allow individuals coming from so-called restricted states to participate in the production of the show without meeting the two-week quarantine requirement. This is in line with how professional sports operates, a department spokesperson said. Billboard reached out to the DOH and Gov. Cuomo's office for additional comment, but had not heard back at presstime.

While the two- week quarantine rule is waived, other requirements and limitations remain in place.

"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,” the spokesperson said.

Participants must wear masks, with an exception for performers when cameras are rolling. Performers must also complete daily health checks and maintain six feet of social distance, unless work requires closer contact. The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and Citywide Event Coordination Management will conduct compliance checks during the production, along with the NYPD Movie and TV unit.

The DOH spokesperson said that it has granted other exceptions on a case-by-case basis, citing as examples individuals who have traveled to New York for medical procedures or funerals.

New York joined with New Jersey and Connecticut in jointly issuing a travel advisory for anyone returning from travel to states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. Thirty-one states and territories meet the criteria for required quarantine, including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas.

An MTV company spokesperson said: “The health and safety of everyone involved is of the utmost importance. We’ve put rigorous protocols in place including testing and screening, and we’re working in close coordination with state and local officials to ensure all guidelines are being followed. All performers and crew are subject to quarantine and testing protocols and remain quarantined when not rehearsing/performing/working.”

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