Commercial Shoots No Longer to Require COVID Vaccination as Mandate Expires
Starting next month, SAG-AFTRA and the advertising industry will be putting an end to its vaccination directive for commercial projects.
Since 2021, SAG-AFTRA has given commercial producers the right to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for actors. But starting May 11, an actor’s vax history, which is typically listed on a person’s COVID-19 immunization card, will no longer be required from talent in order for them to get a gig. However, commercial producers with active projects that have previously implemented a vaccination requirement in “Zone A” — anyone who has to work in close relation to talent — can move forward with the mandate until the production ends.
“The protocols will expire on May 11, 2023, concurrent with the date the federal government has identified for the expiration of the Coronavirus public health emergency,” the association wrote in a notice. The decision was a joint agreement between the Joint Policy Committee and SAG-AFTRA. “Projects in production as of May 11, 2023, which had already established a mandatory vaccination policy in Zone A, may continue that policy for the duration of the production.”
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The notice continued: “Beginning on May 12, 2023 through July 31, 2023, performers working in scenes that require close or intimate contact or extreme exertion, may request COVID antigen self-administered testing for themselves and other performers with whom they will be working in those scenes.”
SAG-AFTRA also agreed to terminate its COVID-19 Production Safety and Testing protocol for projects under its corporate/educational and non-broadcast contracts. The policy will also end on May 11 though there are some conditions for actors who are required to perform in close or intimate contact.
“Beginning on May 12, 2023 through July 31, 2023, performers working in scenes that require close or intimate contact (e.g., kissing or extensive face-to-face contact; embracing, wrestling and other similarly extensive body contact) or extreme exertion (e.g., dancing or other athletic exertion in a confined indoor space, such as indoor cycling, running on a treadmill) may request COVID antigen self-administered testing for themselves and the other performers with whom they will be working in close or intimate contact or extreme exertion,” the notice reads. “Those requests must be directed to a specified point of contact on the production team at least one business day in advance of the production of the scene in question, unless performer is cast less than one business day in advance.”
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