After three years of COVID-19 production protocols, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Hollywood Basic Crafts (Teamsters Local 399, IBEW Local 40, LiUNA! Local 724, OPCMIA Local 755 and UA Local 78), and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), today announced the expiration of the COVID-19 Safety Agreement and its related protocols, effective May 11, 2023. This is the same date the Biden administration plans to let the coronavirus public health emergency expire.
First enacted in September 2020 after a months-long production shutdown, the COVID-19 Safety Agreement is the outcome of unprecedented coordination and solidarity between the unions and collaboration with employers. The agreement, reflecting science-based protocols, transformed creative workers as one of the nation’s first industries returning to work safely. Those protocols have been extended a number of times over the past two and a half years.
The transition includes the following conditions:
Grandfathering: Projects in production before May 11, 2023, which had already established a mandatory vaccination policy in Zone A, may keep that policy for the duration of that production. For episodic projects, this applies only to the season in production before May 11, and not for subsequent seasons.
Intimate Photography: SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP have reached an understanding on a testing system for performers involved in intimate scenes to ensure their safety and well-being.
Additional Paid COVID -19 Sick Days: The unions have secured an additional five paid COVID-19 sick days for all employees through the end of the year.
For the past three years, workers throughout the entertainment community have benefited from our robust protections exceeding the practices of many other industries. With the public health emergency now ending and the expiration of the COVID-19 Safety Agreement, individual employers continue to be responsible for ensuring safe workplaces for their employees, but must seek separate agreement with the applicable joint unions before implementing any COVID safety protocols.