Critics Choice Awards ceremony going ahead despite Covid-19 fears

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The Critics Choice Awards ceremony is still set to go ahead despite rising Covid-19 cases in the U.S.

Organisers announced on Monday that it will proceed as an in-person ceremony on 9 January at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel with strict Covid-19 protocols in place.

"The Critics Choice Association is working with LA County Public Health Officials and a premiere Covid Compliance service, and at this time, we are currently still planning to host an in-person 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards, following the strictest and safest protocols, including mandatory proof of vaccination, negative PCR tests 48 hours in advance, proper social distancing and masking requirements," a statement issued on Monday reads. "We will continue to carefully monitor the situation as events progress."

Kenneth Branagh's Belfast and Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story are the leading contenders at the event, with 11 nominations, including Best Picture. Taye Diggs will host the bash.

The decision bucks the trend of U.S. awards shows abandoning physical prizegivings, as the American Film Institute (AFI) Awards luncheon, planned for 7 January, has been postponed. In addition, the Palm Springs International Film Festival gala awards and BAFTA Los Angeles' annual tea party, also scheduled for early January, have been cancelled.

However, the Golden Globe Awards are currently still set to go ahead on 9 January.

Covid-19 cases are rising in many countries across the world due to the new fast-spreading Omicron variant.

Numerous Broadway and West End shows have been cancelled, and governments in Europe and the U.K. have tightened restrictions, guidance, and advised people to get booster or first vaccinations.

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