Some COVID-19 protocols to be relaxed on Hollywood sets

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — COVID-19 protocols on Hollywood sets and other productions will be relaxed in areas with low hospitalization rates under a new agreement between producers and the unions representing directors, actors and other industry professionals.

“The new agreement creates a more flexible set of protocols for areas of the United States and Canada with low COVID hospital admissions, while maintaining core elements to keep sets safe,” union representatives said in a joint statement late Friday.

This includes making masking optional in most areas of a production location, with the exception of shuttle vans. Pre-employment and weekly testing will still be required on some productions, but not all. So-called Zone A productions, where unmasked actors work, will remain the most restrictive in terms of safety protocols.

The unions represented in the agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers were the Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Hollywood Basic Crafts, which includes Teamsters Local 399, IBEW Local 40, LiUNA! Local 724, OPCMIA Local 755 and UA Local 78.

The revised protocols only apply to areas with low COVID hospital admissions, and include vaccinated and unvaccinated cast and crew. They also allow employers to impose more stringent masking and testing requirements when production circumstances warrant them.

The revised agreement will remain in effect through July 15, 2022.