The 2021 Oscars movie awards ceremony will now take place in April instead of February due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Monday.

Reuters reports that the ceremony for the film industry honours will take place on April 25th, 2021, the academy, which organises the event, said. It was originally scheduled for February 28th. The 2021 ceremony is the 93rd edition of the event. 

The coronavirus pandemic shut down movie theatres worldwide in mid-March and brought production of films to a halt.

The academy also extended the deadline by which movies must be released in order to be eligible for an Oscar nomination to February 28th, 2021, from December 31st, 2020.

"Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our awards date, is to provide the flexibility film-makers need to finish and release their films without being penalised for something beyond anyone's control," academy president David Rubin and academy chief executive Dawn Hudsonsaid in a statement.

The production shutdown meant that many movies may not be finished or released before the usual year-end deadline. Dozens of movie releases have already been moved to 2021. 

The BAFTAs in the UK have also moved to Sunday, April 11th.