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Does Hollywood Need Covid-19 Restrictions Now?

Hollywood employees will have to wait a little longer to learn what COVID-19 safety requirements will be required on set this summer. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and leading entertainment industry unions announced in a joint statement Thursday that an agreement covering sick pay, testing, masking, and other safety measures expired on June 30 without a new contract.

However, negotiations over changes to their safety pact will continue, and the current system will remain in place until a new agreement is reached, according to the unions and AMPTP. Hollywood‘s labor unions and big producers — which include Walt Disney and Universal Pictures, as well as Apple T.V. and other streaming platforms — have been debating whether existing safety measures should be altered to accommodate vaccinated personnel and a lower hospitalization rate.

Coronavirus outbreaks have been held at bay on film sets across the country thanks to stringent testing, social distancing, and masking laws. However, the rules have increased production costs, hindered filming, and impacted industry-related firms. According to one estimate, the pandemic cost California almost 300,000 jobs in the creative sectors.

Last October, the Directors Guild of America, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and SAG-AFTRA negotiated a return-to-work agreement, which was then extended in April. That deal, which was set to expire on Wednesday, included comprehensive safety standards, as well as sick pay and compensation for time spent testing or quarantining people.Since last summer, film and television production, which is considered an essential industry in California and many other states, has expanded. Despite the restrictions, demand for shows and pent-up activity have pushed production volume in L.A. back to pre-pandemic levels since April.

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