Last week Google announced it will pause Chrome and Chrome OS releases to deal with its adjusted work schedules as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, the company said that it would work to ensure current releases are as stable as possible, and that for now, it will not promote Chrome 81 from beta to stable.
As Chrome Unboxed points out, a post a few days ago explains that the new plan is to skip a milestone release entirely. Director of Technical Program Management Jason Kersey writes in a post the beta channel will remain on version 81 until 83 is ready to promote from the development channel, while 82 will skip its cycle through the process entirely. That could mean an earlier release date than planned for version 83, but no decision has been made there yet.
Chrome 81 is supposed to bring new mixed reality features and a trial of NFC tie-ins to the browser, and HTTPS changes that will remove older protocols and block some content if it tries to load via HTTP on a secure site. About Chromebooks notes Chrome OS features anticipated for version 81 that include easier sideloading of Android Studio apps and an improved Bluetooth pairing setup, but all of that will have to wait, and for good reason.