Films released only on streaming platforms will be eligible to be nominated for next year's Oscars.
Making the announcement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences added that the new rule will apply only for the 2021 Oscar ceremony.
Previously, a movie had to be screened in a movie hall in Los Angeles for at least seven days in order to be eligible for the Oscars.
"The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater. Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering. Nonetheless, the historically tragic COVID-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules," President David Rubin and Chief Executive Dawn Hudson said.
Movie theaters across the US have had to shut down in mid-March, with several big movie theater chains saying the decision will remain until late June or July.
The Oscars are still scheduled to take place in Hollywood on February 28, 2021.