Coronavirus Information Center

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 17: German Chancellor and top candidate of Christian Democrat Union (CDU) for upcoming federal election Angela Merkel (C) poses with guest in front of a screen which replaces faces with emojis at CDU election program house on September 17, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel is seeking a fourth term in German federal elections scheduled for September 24 and currently has a double-digit lead over her main rival, German Social Democrat (SPD) Martin Schulz. (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

Coronavirus is interfering with another substantial aspect of everyday life: it is delaying the release of new emojis in 2021. As CBS Boston explains, The planned annual release will get pushed back to 2022. “That’s because the coronavirus fallout has forced the Consortium to delay the new version of the Unicode Standard — which underpins emoji — by six months from March 2021 to September 2021.”

They also add, “As a result, developers won’t have enough time to create new emoji in time for a 2021 release. Each year emoji are typically approved in January before they’re available across devices in September, when new versions of iOS and Android operating systems are usually announced.”

A representative from Unicode Consortium, the non-profit that oversees emoji standards and releases them explains, “Under the current circumstances we’ve heard that our contributors have a lot on their plates at the moment and decided it was in the best interests of our volunteers and the organizations that depend on the standard to push out our release date.”

Luckily, previously announced emojis for 2020 will still be released in September. As we reported, those will include a transgender flag, a transgender symbol, a gender-neutral Santa, a cockroach, and – ironically – people hugging.