Sadly, there will be no new emojis until 2022—an unexpected side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unicode Consortium is the group that handles emoji releases, and they have had to delay any new releases for 2021, which means there won't be new emojis available until 2022.

Unicode is a volunteer-run organization and relies on many volunteers to approve and finalize new additions to the emoji universe. Usually, emojis finalized in January will release the following September; however, the pandemic has simply made it impossible for the job to get done. Most of the volunteers are unable to contribute, dealing with both personal and professional situations.

“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,” said Mark Davis, President of the Consortium. “This year we simply can’t commit to the same schedule we’ve adhered to in the past.”

Some already-announced emojis will be coming out in 2020, including the transgender flag, a gender-neutral Santa Claus, a face shedding a tear, and a face with Groucho glasses. This most recent set of emoji additions was announced in January 2020, and the work is being completed for those to be released this fall. 

As part of the postponement, the deadline to submit a new emoji character has been moved to September 2020.

Ideas for emojis can be submitted by anyone, as long as they provide all the required information and follow the correct process. To learn more about Unicode’s process for submitting a new emoji, check out the submission form and rules here

Unfortunately, it looks like we will all just have to make do with the existing emojis until things get caught up.

What is your favorite emoji? Any ideas for new emojis? Share them with us in the comments. Also, did you know there is an online dictionary for emoji meanings? Check out emojipedia.com to see what all your favorite emojis actually mean.