October 1, 2022 — Film, television and theater productions will continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols as unions and studios negotiate a new return-to-work deal, the Directors Guild of America.
The previous agreement, originally due to expire on Friday, will be extended until the political groups reach a new compromise. The agreement, first adopted in September 2020, was originally due to expire in April 2021, but has been extended several times.
Safety protocols have allowed industrial productions to move forward during the pandemic, taking into account the potential risk of infection for actors and crew members based on production location and staff vaccination status. Over the past two years, revised agreements have included rules for mandatory vaccinations, physical distancing, COVID compliance officers, travel and transportation restrictions, and testing and mask requirements during filming or on stage.
A few weeks ago, talks about a new version began between several unions – including the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE ). , Hollywood Basic Crafts and International Brotherhood of Teamsters – and the studio negotiating body, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Many producers and directors have said they will direct productions to comply with the current agreement’s protocols, regardless of whether the requirements are relaxed to The Hollywood Reporter
In recent weeks, SAG-AFTRA has had internal debates over the security protocols, the news outlet reported. An outspoken group within the organization has opposed certain aspects of the vaccination requirements for actors and crew members. However, despite a board meeting in mid-September, the union decided not to change policies related to vaccination orders.
When the industry-wide agreement was renegotiated in July, unions and studios made two small changes to protocols around transportation and meals in places with high COVID case counts, the news outlet reported.
Now that Hollywood’s current infection rates are low, Los Angeles County health officials have ended a rule requiring masks on public transit. However, a possible spike in infections in the fall or winter could change precautionary measures again, the news outlet reported.