Studios, Unions Extend COVID Safety Protocols to June 30

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Hollywood’s major production companies and key unions have agreed to extend COVID safety protocols for TV and film production until June 30.

The extension comes as California is slowly but surely emerging from the grip of the coronavirus. All signs are pointing to Los Angeles County moving into the least restrictive yellow tier of social distancing mandates within another week or so. That will allow indoor gatherings including concerts and sporting events to be held at 75% capacity, which will be a boon to the area’s live performance economy.

The extension of safety protocols hammered out last September by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and key unions including IATSE, SAG-AFTRA and the DGA comes as no surprise. Production activity has been bustling in recent weeks as lockdown conditions ease and the growth of the vaccination rate in California, New York and other states with significant production activity.

The AMPTP protocols will not require those working on productions to be fully vaccinated, as first reported by Deadline. The question of how employers will handle such mandates have been the subject of much debate in recent weeks among privacy advocates and public health officials.

A spokesman for the AMPTP confirmed the existing protocols have been extended to June 30.

The encouraging signs for the production community come as Hollywood employers consider when to end work-from-home mandates for executives, talent representatives and other core industry players. Sony Pictures Entertainment is planned a phased-in return of hundreds of employees to the Culver City lot beginning in June. Disney is looking to bring staffers back starting in July.

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