California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health said that film and TV production can resume in the state “no sooner” than June 12, as part of guidelines released by the state.
Any productions will need to be approved by county public health officials, and cast, crew and other industry workers will have to adhere to safety protocols agreed upon by management and those dictated by county public health officers.
“Music, TV and film production may resume in California, recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020 and subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing,” the California Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The department continued: “To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”
Last Monday, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers outlined in a white paper recommendations on reopening production to Newsom, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.
Among the recommendations in the white paper were plans on addressing “set hygiene, disinfection and maintenance, catering, mandatory employment of Covid-19 Compliance Officer(s), symptom screening, physical distancing, paid leave policies and Covid-19 training, among other critically important topics necessary for the safe resumption of production.”
Large scale production in California has been largely shut down since the middle of March.
In a memo to members of the Directors Guild, the guild’s COVID-19 committee recommended prioritizing testing for actors and performers who are unable to wear protective equipment or maintain social distancing while on camera. And last week the International Cinematographer’s Guild Local 600 also issued its own report recommending keeping directors of photography and production designers in designated work spaces and keeping them distanced from those who do not come to sets, such as accountants and coordinators, as well as minimizing in-person location scouting.
However, the industry white paper also noted that guilds and studios are still undergoing further discussions on department-specific protocols, and it also called for a COVID-19 compliance officer designated to ensure safety precautions are being taken on set at all times.
The ideas expressed in the white paper were also much in line with what the British Film Commission laid out last week for restarting its production, including addressing hair and makeup workers, costume dressers and set designers.
In a press conference in Los Angeles County on Friday, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that an additional 36 people have died from COVID-19 in LA County, bringing the total number of deaths to 2,565, with 61,045 total cases reported.