Baftas accused of being Covid super-spreader event and derailing upcoming Oscars

An apparent spread of Covid at Bafta earlier this month has led to concerns that some of the Oscar nominees who were at the event will not be attending the Oscars on Sunday (March 28).

According to US reports, the lecture at the Producers Guild of America nominated breakfast this weekend was largely dedicated to concerns that Baftas at London’s Royal Albert Hall on March 13 was a super-spreader event.

A source who tested positive for Covid a few days after attending Bafta’s said The Hollywood Reporter: “It looks like the weekend may have been a super-spreading event.”

Another claimed, “Literally everyone I talk to at the moment says they have it.”

Many of the participants in the ceremony would also have been present at several industry parties over the weekend, which were not organized by Bafta. A large number also traveled internationally and probably stayed in hotels, took taxis and ate at restaurants.

One of those who tested positive after attending the ceremony was Belfast director-producer Kenneth Branagh. The film’s star Ciarán Hinds also got the virus.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the producers of the Oscar-nominated animated sci-fi comedy The Mitchells vs the Machines, has reportedly also tested positive, as well as a number of the National Geographic team behind The rescue.

It told a Bafta representative The independent: “Bafta went beyond the UK Government’s guidance and all participants had to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test on arrival.”

Admission to the ceremony required a negative antigen test, but mask wearing was not enforced.

Ciarán Hinds, Jamie Dornan and Patrick Kielty take part in the Irish premiere of the film ‘Belfast’

(PA line)

Oscars must perform two PCR tests and guests are asked to wear masks.

This year’s Oscar for Best Picture is expected to be won by either Jane Campion’s western The power of the dog or CODA. Read the full list of Oscar nominees here.

The UK has seen a 47 per cent week-on-week increase in new coronavirus cases, figures show – with an average of 258,155 new symptomatic infections reported daily.

The infection level is the highest ever recorded in the UK by the ZOE Covid study, which reported a “worryingly high” increase among the elderly and clinically vulnerable.

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