Mask Mandates Dropped in Updated Hollywood COVID Safety Rules

DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Teamsters and Basic Crafts groups release new COVID rules Friday night

Covid Filming

A consortium of guilds on Friday announced changes to existing COVID-19 policies that will provide film and television productions with somewhat more flexibility, while keeping in place most of the standards that have governed entertainment in the pandemic era.

Masks will no longer be required on productions in areas with low hospitalization numbers. However, productions are still allowed to require vaccinations, must still employ COVID compliance supervisors, and all employees must still received up to 10 days of paid sick leave.

The consortium, made up of DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Teamsters and Hollywood Basic Crafts, announced the changes to COVID protocols on Friday night. All parties, the groups say, will continue to keep track of the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, and safety triggers that will activate stricter rules remain in place.

The new rules remain in place through July 15, at which point further changes will be considered, depending on the latest COVID-19 developments.

The new rules are as follows:

Pre-employment testing is still required of all crews, but with modifications to the types of tests allowed.  Testing will still be required on an ongoing weekly basis during production for Zones A and B, but reduced in frequency. Zones C and D do not require testing beyond pre-employment.

Masking will not be required in most settings, with the specific exception of shuttle vans.

Additional modifications include flexibility on meal service and rules related to transportation.

The following current agreement conditions remain in place: 

Vaccination: The new agreement continues to allow employers to mandate that employees in Zone A be “up to date” on their vaccinations, including a booster. 

COVID Compliance Supervisor: Hiring of a dedicated COVID-19 compliance supervisor responsible for safety compliance and enforcement, who will be accessible to cast and crew at all times during working hours.

Quarantine Pay and Sick Leave: All employees will continue to receive 10 days of COVID-19 paid sick leave, and the leave can be used for any of the eligible COVID-19 events (e.g. testing positive, exhibiting symptoms, isolation or self-quarantines, or when a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19).