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THR: Will Hollywood Require COVID-19 Vaccinations for Its Workers?

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Eriq GardnerAshley Cullins and Bryn Sandberg on March 10, 2021.

“If, a year ago, there had been a guarantee that by March 2021 there would be three COVID-19 vaccines being administered to millions daily, Hollywood would have been overjoyed,” write Eriq Gardner, Ashley Cullins and Bryn Sandberg in The Hollywood Reporter. “When cinemas started closing stateside and film and TV studios told workers to stay home, few allowed themselves to think of this moment, much less plan for it. Take the action plan titled ‘The Safe Way Forward,’ which was put together by most of the industry’s guilds and unveiled in June. It spells out diligent use of personal protective equipment, strictly enforced testing regimes and quarantines, but doesn’t address what happens when vaccines arrive on the scene.

“Now, as more workers are vaccinated over the next few months and as the main return-to-work agreement between employers and labor unions, inked in September, is up for renewal in April, talks on vaccination protocol will face many challenges.

“Namely, will vaccines eventually become mandatory? Will ‘vaccine passport’ programs — which may require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to work in an office or on a film set — be considered? And how will movie theaters, live concert venues, production sets and theme parks accommodate those who have medical reasons for not being vaccinated or those declining on religious grounds? Those are just starting points for the next phase of Hollywood’s COVID-19 recovery. …

“Many in the production community say they’re waiting to hear how the guilds and the studios approach these issues. Those talks figure to begin soon, with Hollywood’s return-to-work agreement expiring April 30 and with Biden promising there will be enough vaccines for everyone by the end of the following month. …

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About Jeffrey Burman 699 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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