California Governor Gavin Newsom released on Friday his long-awaited guidelines for restarting film and TV production in the state amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Oddly, they were not presented at Newsom’s noon press conference, but later in the day.
The California Department of Public Health released guidance as follows:
Music, TV and film production may resume in California, recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020 and subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The reopening for production may not include L.A. County, however.
Newsom has said modifications to regional guidance would be allowed so long as there are attestations at the county level that there are adequate plans in place should a rise in COVID cases be seen again. As of late May, 47 of the 58 counties had made such attestations. Most notably, L.A. county was not among them which, of course, has a huge impact on production.
The governor said in May his health director has been working with L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer and may consider opening some parts of the county sooner than others. Whether or not that would include reopening for production remains to be seen.
On June 1, a white paper, developed by an industry panel, was reportedly delivered to the governors of New York and California.
On June 2, the white paper was presented to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors by its Economic Resiliency Task Force, which includes NBCU CEO Jeff Shell.
Union leaders said that the white paper is just a starting point for bargaining with management’s Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers for restarting film and TV production.
It was May 26 when the governor last spoke about these guidelines. That seems like a month ago now.
On the 26th, Newsom announced that, while he had hoped to present guidelines for restarting film and TV production that day, he was pushing back that announcement to confer with guilds and producers.
“We chose to engage a little more formally” in the conversations, Newsom said. “We want to extend them [the deadline] to later this week, possibly this weekend, because we are working with both industry and labor and they want to tighten up some aspects of the
When asked more specifically about the holdup, Newsom said that “industry and labor asked for more time as they worked through some issues.” He said he sees the delay as a positive development since some of these were issues “that predated this pandemic.”
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