New Labor Regulations in Entertainment Due to COVID-19
The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed ‘normal’ life as we know it. The pandemic has affected all jobs, but as many industries go back to work, new rules and procedures have been implemented in order to protect against the virus. This article will briefly examine some of the new guidelines in place for those in the entertainment industry, as delineated by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). If you have any questions about entertainment law and your rights within the industry, please contact us and speak with one of our experienced entertainment attorneys.
The New Protocols in Place – From Auditioning to Safe Work Environments
SAG-AFTRA released its brand-new guideline in June and the comprehensive plan, called “The Safe Way Forward,” envisions new procedures and protocols for almost all stages of TV and film sets. Overall, there are four important changes: constant testing, the creation of the Zone system, the hiring of a Health Safety Supervisor, and the mandatory use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face coverings, and shields.
The rules encompass every stage of the production process – from auditioning to performing on set. The first round of all auditions is now required to be conducted virtually, with further rounds of auditioning being in-person so long as there are appropriate distancing and sanitation measures in place.
One of the of the most substantial changes is the creation of Zones. There are three Zones in production: Zone A, B, and C. Zone A is where physical distancing cannot be observed; this is where the performers work on camera or otherwise. Zone B is for all other crew and members who are not in Zone A and, as a result, must maintain physical distancing and wear PPE. Zone C is everything else outside of the production – i.e. the crew and actors’ homes and daily lives.
Testing will occur anywhere from three times a week to everyday. Temperature checks will also be occurring for everyone on set. Those who test positive for COVID-19 while in production will have to self-isolate and conduct further tests. Another major change concerns meals, as meal times have now been staggered and food will be pre-packaged.