Hollywood almost completely shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. After people realized how serious the crisis would become in early 2020, studios were forced to shudder production on just about everything. Slowly but surely, the film and television industries have rebounded and things are as close to normal as they can safely be.
While most Americans’ lives have gone back to normal, Hollywood isn’t quite ready to fully commit to it. The Hollywood Reporter obtained an agreement from the Directors Guild that indicates that most studios and unions will continue to abide by COVID-19 protocols until September 30th.
There were some slight modifications to the existing safety rules. Under the new deal, when COVID levels are high, unvaccinated workers will not be able to take part in buffet-style meals. Another change is that vehicles transporting cast members and crew to sets can operate at full capacity, even when COVID community transmission is high.
Previously, those transports could only operate at 75% capacity. The mask mandate for transportation will remain in place. If the vehicle contains a cast member who can’t mask up, such as when makeup has been applied, the other passengers must maintain physical distance.
The COVID “Return to Work” agreement for Hollywood has been in place since September of 2020. Each time it has been set to expire, it’s been renewed, with minor changes. This time is no exception.
Hollywood is trying to stay safe as the new Omicron subvariant known as BA.5 continues to spread. Los Angeles is currently considered to have a “high” level of community transmission. While another shutdown doesn’t seem to be in the cards, studios and unions are staying vigilant about making sure productions are as safe as possible for everyone involved.
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