BTS couldn’t have attended the 2021 Mnet Asian Music Awards

K-pop behemoths BTS could not attend this year’s Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA).

Yesterday (December 1), the South Korean government announced that from Friday (December 3), all overseas arrivals to the East Asian country would have to be quarantined for 10 days , in an effort to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. The new quarantine mandate is currently applied to all incoming travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, in accordance with the South China Morning Post.

According to a new report from Yonhap News Agency, the septet will have to undergo the 10-day quarantine, as they are only due to return to South Korea after their appearance at the Los Angeles leg of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour on Friday. The boy band was in the United States for their four-night “Permission To Dance On Stage” concerts.

As such, BTS would not be able to attend the 2021 MAMA ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on December 11. The organizer of the awards show, cable channel Mnet, has yet to confirm whether BTS will attend the event, saying Yonhap that the matter is under discussion.

BTS is up for the most nominations of any act at the awards. They were nominated for Best Male Group, Best Male Group Dance Performance for ‘Butter’, Best Collaboration for their joint single ‘My Universe’ with British band Coldplay, as well as Global Icon of the Year as voted by fans and Top 10 Global Fan Choice categories.

MAMA 2021 will also see a star-studded lineup of performances from 12 K-pop groups, including Tomorrow X Together (TXT), aespa, NCT 127 and NCT Dream, among other big names.

Special appearances by British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and reality dance competition contestants Street Woman Fighter had also been previously announced. The former will perform a “new version” of his single “Bad Habits”, exclusively for the awards ceremony.

Lyle L. Maltby