County health officials have approved film and television production to recommence on Friday, June 12, in line with state guidelines, amid COVID-19.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Department of Public Health made the announcement on Wednesday, with L.A. Department of Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer adding that the County Department of Public Health would also release safety guidelines on Thursday for film productions. Gyms, movie theaters, campgrounds, hotels and museums will also receive guidelines on Thursday and be allowed to open Friday.
“A modified health officer order and directives for reopening additional businesses will be issued tomorrow with the effective date of June 12,” Ferrer said on Wednesday’s daily County press call regarding COVID-19. Businesses and productions can reopen only once they have “implemented protocols for infection control and distancing” as the County moves into “Phase Three” of reopening, she added.
The announcement comes just days after California approved production to restart on June 12 on Friday and the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force submitted a white paper with suggested safety guidelines for a return to production to all 50 state governors on June 1. Unions involved in creating the white paper, including SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild, IATSE and the Teamsters, are now determining craft-specific protocols to negotiate with studios and major companies including Amazon Studios, HBO and Netflix.
Without protocols from the County or state at present, industry leaders are currently following suggestions in the white paper to return to production, which include regular testing as a condition of employment, regular symptom monitoring, staggered meal times, hand hygiene and personal protective equipment provided by employers.
Georgia set its protocols for a return to production in late May as the state continues to compete with California for film and television projects. The Atlanta-based Tyler Perry Studios also unveiled its procedures in late May, in a 30-page document called “Camp Quarantine.”
Restaurants, beaches, trails, salons, barbershops, retail stores and religious services have all been reopened in L.A. County so far after closing abruptly to preserve public health at the start of the pandemic, with limitations and health protocols in place.