The 93rd Academy Awards have been postponed and will be held on April 23, 2021, instead of February 28, 2021, according to an Associated Press report on Monday.

The decision is a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in the closure of cinemas in most places in the world, the postponement of several releases, and severe delays in film production.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the event, and ABC Television, which broadcasts the ceremony, also announced that the eligibility window for entries will be extended to February 28, 2021. A movie should have been released between January 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, to qualify, Variety reported.

The submission deadline for specialty categories, which include feature-length and short documentaries and foreign films, is now December 1, 2020. The nominations will be announced on March 15.

Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement, “Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”

The 12th annual Governors Awards, during which honorary Oscars are awarded, has also been postponed to an unspecified date.

This is only the fourth time that the Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are being delayed. Previous reasons include the flooding of Los Angeles in 1938, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in 1968, and an assassination attempt on American President Ronald Reagan in 1981, the Associated Press reported. However, the delays were only by a few days.