NY quarantine doesn’t apply to VMA celebs

Lady Gaga is one of the performers at the 2020 MTV VMAs.
Lady Gaga is one of the performers at the 2020 MTV VMAs.
Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock
Lady Gaga is one of the performers at the 2020 MTV VMAs.

NY quarantine doesn’t apply to VMA celebs

In the latest instance of COVID inequality, performers at MTV award show get special treatment.
August 24, 2020

If you’re an out-of-state traveller hoping to bypass Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 14-day quarantine, you may want to consider becoming rich and famous.

Musicians, singers and dancers coming to New York City to perform on MTV’s Music Video Awards will be exempt from quarantining to participate in the show, even if they’re coming from a state with high COVID-19 infection rates

The governor’s executive order on quarantines states that anyone who violates the requirement to stay isolated from others and not go out in public at all, for 14 days could face $10,000 in fines or could spend up to 15 days in jail, although those passing through the state within a 24-hour time period do not need to quarantine. 

The VMAs received an exemption from the state Health Department because the show said it would police itself and abide by rigorous safety protocols. “The VMAs submitted a detailed application through (the Health Department) to allow cast and crew coming from travel advisory states to participate in the production of the show and adhere to strict safety procedures, which included quarantining when not working, wearing masks and appropriate social distancing, and rigorous testing during their stay,” according to a statement provided by the department. “Since, like any other applicant, we felt the interactions within the state could be monitored and protect the overall public health, this was approved.”

The allowances made for the celebrities points to the lack of equity between the rich and poor when it comes to the COVID-19 crisis. Athletes and well-to-do New Yorkers were able to get tested for the coronavirus at the onset of the state’s outbreak, despite there being limited testing available. Other people, especially those in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods, couldn’t get tests even if they were symptomatic. Now, moneyed Hamptons residents are paying for rapid results testing, which can deliver test results within 30 minutes, at their summer soirees, while most New Yorkers are forced to wait up to 14 days for their results.

The award show was originally slated to take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, but will now be a series of performances happening across the city. New York City Police Department officers will be present during the show's performances, to ensure that all performers and individuals involved with the show maintain proper social distancing and sport masks. “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,” a City Hall spokesperson told the New York Post.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed a state Health Department statement. After publication, the department provided a new statement to City & State.

 

Amanda Luz Henning Santiago
Amanda Luz Henning Santiago
is City & State's web reporter and social media editor.
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