Commercial Producers Agree With Hollywood Unions to COVID-19 Testing on Sets

Dave McNary
·2-min read

The Assn. of Independent Commercial Producers has agreed with Hollywood unions to adopt COVID-19 testing for workers on sets.

A rep for one of the International Alliance of Theaterical Stage Employees locals confirmed to Variety that the deal has been signed and will go into effect on Dec. 15. The Directors Guild of America and the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters are also signatory to the agreement about the protocols, which require testing of those working on sets and will run through April 30, 2021. SAG-AFTRA is not a signatory.

“As a condition of employment, the Employer shall test Employees (excluding Employees who are working exclusively remotely) for Covid-19 within 3 days prior to the start of their employment,” the agreement said.

The AICP, which represents independent companies producing film and digital commercials for advertisers and agencies, declined to comment.

The development comes on the heels of producers of feature films and television agreeing to notify the entertainment industry’s unions when a member of casts and crews test positive for COVID-19 in a revision of the industry’s two-month-old safety protocols.

That revised agreement, which took effect on Nov. 30, is contained in a Nov. 19 side letter issued by Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, to the leaders of Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Basic Crafts unions.

The AMPTP and the unions announced on Sept. 21 that they had reached an agreement on protocols to allow the industry to safely restart production amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that point, the safety protocols were hammered out on a production-by-production basis.

For its part, the AICP issued COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines and Considerations in April and has updated those five times since then. The guidelines emphasize the importance of exposure reduction and mitigation by practicing appropriate social distancing, PPE use (including masks) and proper hygiene.

Commercial shoots have dominated location filming in the Los Angeles area recently, recording 44% of all permits issued by the FilmLA permitting agency in October. The news about the AICP agreement was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

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