Hollywood Film and TV Productions Could Get Longer Delay Due to New Coronavirus Testing Rules

California and Hollywood are eager to get back to work on film and television. However, an intense spike in coronavirus cases with California being one of the unfortunate hot spots, new rules are going into place. These rules aim at containing the spread of the coronavirus and will apply to any business which is aiming to get its employees back to work. As they will apply to Hollywood productions remains to be seen exactly, as film production does not operate like a traditional business or manufacturer in many regards, but it seems they will fall into the Tier 3 or Tier 4 business rules.

Deadline first reported these new testing guidelines, with our friends at SlashFilm having put them into simple terms. The abridged description from Ethan Anderton of the new guidelines for work in California are as follows:

"Tier 1: Hospitalized individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. Tests involving the investigation and management of outbreaks. Close contacts of confirmed cases.
Tier 2: All other individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. Or individuals who are asymptomatic but who live or work in higher risk congregate care facilities, work in the healthcare sector, work in the emergency services sector, or patients requiring pre-operative/pre-hospital admission or who are being discharged to a lower care facility.
Tier 3: Individuals who work in the retail or manufacturing sectors, those who work in the food services sector, individuals who work in the agricultural or food manufacturing sector, individuals who work in the public transportation sector, and individuals who work in the education sector.
Tier 4: Would be implemented when the state’s testing turnaround time, as monitored by California Department of Public Health, is less than 48 hours. Includes individuals not specified above and those who are asymptomatic but believe they have a risk for being actively infected. Also includes routine testing by employers."

Tier 3 may be the best fit for Hollywood productions, as they are manufacturing entertainment products. The new guidelines will call for all cast and crew members to be tested for COVID-19 on day one of production. Beyond this, cast members and any crew members who they will interact with will be required to test for the coronavirus three times per week. Members of the production office will be tested regularly, as well, on a once per week basis. The rest of the crew is divided into zones and will periodically be tested based on potential exposure.

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Until California reaches Tier 3, or possibly Tier 4, film and television productions are going to remain on hold. the complete list of coronavirus guidelines for the state of California can be found at the California Department of Public Health's official site.

(Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

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