The announcement was made on June 10 by Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, and the order includes provisions for other sectors to reopen as well, including gyms, day camps, museums, zoos, campgrounds, professional sports arenas and hotels. Movie theaters may also reopen, under certain circumstances.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti confirmed that film and television production can resume in LA. Of course, proper protocols must be in place first.
Here’s a recent tweet from LA County outlining some of the reopenings allowed right now:
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) June 10, 2020
LA County released guidelines on Thursday about precautions that the industry must take to continue to curb the spread of coronavirus as they resume production. These include health checks for vendors and employers when they arrive on set, assessments to ensure social distancing, the designation of a COVID-19 compliance officer at workplaces, and established procedures for anyone showing symptoms or testing positive for the coronavirus.
The new guidelines also say personal protective equipment must be worn except when production doesn’t permit it, as when shooting a scene, and vulnerable employees should be allowed to work at home. Periodic testing must also be done. The new safety protocols also get more specific regarding shared props, breaks, eating, cleaning. and other shared activities.
“Today’s release of safety protocols for film and television production marks a significant step in getting our industry back to work in Los Angeles County,” Donna Langley, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chair, said in a statement to Deadline that thanks the parties involved. “Teams across the Studios, production companies, guilds and unions in every facet of our business have shown, and will continue to show, innovation and creativity in bringing film, television and digital production safely back to Los Angeles.”
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television producers had also submitted a 22-page document of proposals to all 50 state governors for suggested safety protocols earlier this month. Where there is an absence of government protocols, industry leaders are using this white paper to guide their decision-making.
Directors Guild of America President Thomas Schlamme and National Executive Director Russell Hollander penned a letter to the organization’s members outlining the initiatives set forth in the document.
“These are incredibly complex issues to solve, the science is still rapidly developing, and it’s all being done amid a world changing at breakneck speeds,” they wrote in the letter. “Through it all, what drives us is getting this right for our members, other industry workers and the general public, so a quick, safe and sustainable return to work can be realized.”
Although they have been given the green light, some in the industry indicated that they will not be going back to work just yet. Variety reports that every television studio representative that spoke to the publication said that they will not plan to immediately resume production. However, productions that are filming in other countries where COVID-19 has become less of a threat may restart more quickly.
Additionally, while Los Angeles is being allowed to reopen, there are indications that COVID-19 cases are increasing again there. If that’s the case, another closing could shut down the industry again in just a few weeks. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen!