According to a report in Variety, the 2021 Oscar ceremony is likely to be delayed due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the already staggering global economy and taken countless lives.

Due to the extremely contagious nature of the disease, shooting for shows and films have come to a standstill leading to a loss of millions and rising unemployment. While no formal discussions have taken place yet, Variety revealed that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is thinking about postponing the event that is currently due to take place on 28 February 2021.

Due to the shutdown of film production and cinema halls, films that were slated for a theatre release are now having to consider releases online. In April, the Academy announced a temporary rule change stating that films that had missed out on a cinema release can also be considered eligible for the awards. Earlier, only films that had been screened in theatres for at least a week prior to December 31 were considered eligible.

“It’s impossible to know what the landscape will be. We know we want to celebrate film but we do not know exactly what form it will take,” Academy president David Rubin told Variety.