New York state is currently imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from dozens of other states with high rates of COVID-19 — but certain exceptions are being made. Stars traveling to New York City for the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) will not have to spend two weeks in quarantine.

According to New York State Department of Health (DOH) officials, the VMAs applied through DOH to allow individuals coming from travel advisory states to participate in the production of the show. This is in line with the methodology granted for professional sports, the department told CBS News via email.

“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.

Artists like Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga and Maluma are set to perform at the VMAs on Sunday, August 30. The city is working to ensure all participants 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 also conduct compliance checks during the production, along with the NYPD Movie and TV unit.

While these guidelines seem extensive, one of the most stringent restrictions, which applies to other travelers, will not apply to VMA performers.

The travel advisory put into place by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June orders travelers from more than 30 states to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in New York.

People who arrive at New York airports must complete a Department of Health traveler form. Those who fail to comply may be subject to a $2,000 fine and be ordered to complete mandatory quarantine, according to the state’s website.

One of the states currently on the restricted list is California, which has been struggling to contain a rising number of coronavirus cases — and is likely where many music stars would be traveling from. 

According to MTV, 10 musical acts are scheduled to perform during the event, but it is unclear how many are planning to travel to New York to appear in person. In this age of digital events, it is possible that some of the stars give virtual performances from other locations.


Disclosure: MTV is a division of ViacomCBS, the parent company of CBS News.

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