Hollywood Studios And Guilds Have Agreed That Vaccines Can Be Mandated Amid Another Rise In COVID Cases

While more than 56 percent of Americans over the age of 12 have been vaccinated for COVID, getting jabbed is still a personal choice. But Hollywood holdouts who are looking to keep those paychecks rolling in may need to soon their way toward the pro side of being vaccinated against a virus that already killed more than 4 million people worldwide. In the past few days, the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon and Netflix’s Matilda have both put a pause on production due to positive COVID cases—as did filming on season 2 of Bridgerton, just one day after production resumed following a previous positive COVID test.

While all of Hollywood is understandably anxious to get back to work following a year of closed sets — not to mention shuttered movie theaters — the heads of various studios and creative guilds also want to mitigate the health risks of heading back to work too soon. As such, they’ve entered into a short-term agreement that will allow them to require that cast and crew members be vaccinated, which will in turn allow them to relax some of the social distancing restrictions they’ve had in place.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new agreement was announced in a joint statement issued by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and some of the industry’s premier guilds, including SAG-AFTRA, the DGA, IATSE, and the Teamsters. According to the statement:

The modifications center on workplace practices for fully vaccinated cast and crew, including changes to outdoor masking requirements and updated mealtime protocols. Producers will also have the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis. Additional changes, such as adjustments to testing frequency, are included for certain areas in the United States and Canada where COVID-19 incidence is, and remains, very low.

The Agreement will remain in effect through September 30, 2021. The parties will continue closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and will consider further modifications at that time.

“Zone A” cast and crew are those people who regularly work in close proximity to each other and cannot always wear PPE — as filming a sex scene with full-on face masks would probably be a lot less sexy.

According to THR, the question of whether vaccines would be mandated is a question that’s been swirling around Hollywood for several months now. When asked about it back in March while appearing on “The Business” podcast, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos was taking a wait-and-see approach. “We’re not going to take a position on whether we mandate or not,” Sarandos said. “I think people are pretty enthusiastic about getting back to normal life, and so we’ll play it by ear and see how the adoption of the vaccines goes.”

My, how times change.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)