EXCLUSIVE: Covid-19 vaccinations of casts and crews will not be mandatory on film and TV productions under the industry’s newly renegotiated return-to-work protocols. “To mandate at this point may be premature,” a source told Deadline. “That subject has been skirted.”
The source noted, however, that cast and crew members still should get vaccinated, “but noting is mandatory.” The new agreement, is a “pretty much a straightforward extension” of those that were set to expire on Friday, the source said.
The original return-to-work agreement was reached between management’s Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and Hollywood’s unions agreement with Hollywood’s unions – SAG-AFTRA, the DGA, IATSE, the Teamsters and the Basic Crafts – on September 21, nearly three months before the first Covid-19 vaccine was administered in the U.S. Even though vaccines now are widely available, they won’t be mandatory on film and TV sets until at least June 30, when the current extension expires.
The extension of the current agreement contains all of the provisions of the original, including strictly enforced testing regimens, physical distancing, Covid-19 compliance officers, diligent use of personal protective equipment, and a “Zone” system to ensure that different sections of the production are tightly controlled based on proximity to cast, who often can’t wear masks or maintain social distancing while working. Union officials have observed that these protocols have made film sets among the safest places to work in America during the pandemic.
Like the old protocols, the newly extended agreement gives workers 10 days of paid sick leave starting May 1 and running through Dec. 10. Those who used all 10 sick days during the run of the old agreement will get 10 more, but unused days won’t be added to the 10 that are now available.
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