October 1, 2022 – Film, television and theater productions will continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols as unions and studios negotiate a new agreement to return to work, according to America’s Directors Guild.
The current agreement, which was previously set to expire on Friday, will be extended until the groups reach a new compromise. The agreement was first adopted in September 2020, and the agreement was originally scheduled to expire in April 2021 but has been extended several times.
Safety protocols allowed industrial production to proceed during the pandemic, taking into account the potential risks of infection between actors and crew members based on the production site and the employee’s vaccination status. Over the past two years, revised agreements have included mandatory vaccination rules, physical distancing, COVID compliance officers, travel and transportation restrictions, testing and mask requirements while filming or on stage.
Several weeks ago, talks about a new version began between several unions – including the Directors Guild of America (DGA), Screen Actors Guild of America for Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), International Alliance of Theatrical Theater Employees (IATSE) and Hollywood Basic Crafts, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters – and the studios’ negotiating body, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Several producers and directors said they plan to direct production to comply with protocols in the current agreement, regardless of whether or not the requirements have been relaxed. to me The Hollywood Reporter
The news outlet reported that in recent weeks, SAG-AFTRA has had internal discussions about safety protocols. An outspoken group in the organization opposed certain aspects of the vaccine requirements for actors and crew members. Although the board met in mid-September, the union decided not to modify any policies related to vaccine mandates.
The news outlet reported that when the industry-wide agreement underwent renegotiation in July, unions and studios made two small changes to protocols around transportation and meals in locations with high numbers of COVID cases.
Now that current infection rates around Hollywood are down, Los Angeles County health officials have ended a rule requiring masks on public transportation. However, a potential fall or winter spike in infections could change precautions again, the news outlet reported.