On Monday, a new agreement between Hollywood unions and major studios was announced. It shows Covid-19 vaccinations are mandatory on set for film and television productions. Vaccines and other scientific advances have resulted in the changes. They focus on work practices for fully vaccinated cast and crew members, such as changes to outdoor masking requirements and updated mealtime protocols.
Producers will also have the option of implementing mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew on a per-production basis. According to a joint statement, the new return-to-work protocols will give producers “the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis.” Zone A, where unmasked actors work, is the most stringent of the set’s safe work zones.
Additional changes, such as testing frequency adjustments, are included for certain areas in the United States and Canada where COVID-19 incidence is and continues to be very low. The agreement will be in effect until September 30. The parties will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 developments and may make additional changes at that time.
The agreement relaxes mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals, allowing masks to be removed outside, and reduces the amount of testing required for vaccinated employees. Individually wrapped meals are no longer required and only vaccinated employees will be permitted to eat at a buffet.
The agreement was reached by various entertainment industry unions, including the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Directors Guild of America and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents film studios and television networks.