The Directors Guild of America has stated that while unions and studios negotiate a new return-to-work deal, movie, television, and theatre productions will continue to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The existing arrangement, which had been due to end on Friday, will be continued until the parties come to a new understanding. The deal, which was initially adopted in September 2020, was supposed to terminate in April 2021, but it has since been extended many times.
By taking into account the probable risk of infection among actors and crew members based on the production location and staff vaccination status, the safety measures have permitted industry productions to proceed during the pandemic. Revisions to agreements over the previous two years have added provisions for vaccine requirements, physical separation, COVID compliance officers, travel and transit limits, and testing and mask requirements when filming or performing.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the studios’ representative in the negotiations, and a number of unions, including the Directors Guild of America (DGA), Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Hollywood Basic Crafts, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters, started discussions about a new version a few weeks ago (AMPTP).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, many producers and directors have stated they intend to give productions instructions to adhere to the standards in the current agreement, regardless of whether the requirements are reduced.
According to the news source, SAG-AFTRA has recently engaged in internal discussion on the safety procedures. The organization’s vocal faction has voiced opposition to certain of the vaccination requirements for cast and crew personnel. However, despite a board meeting in the middle of September, the union chose not to alter any regulations relating to vaccination requirements.
When the industry-wide agreement was renegotiated in July, unions and studios made two minor adjustments to the policies governing travel and meals in areas with a high COVID case rate, according to the news source.
Los Angeles County health officials have removed the requirement for masks on public transit because the illness rates in the area around Hollywood are currently low. The news source cautioned that a possible fall or winter spike in diseases could alter the precautions once more.