Hollywood Studios and Unions Near Deal for Back-to-Work COVID-19 Safety Rules

Earlier this year, the coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted film and television production around the world in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. Now, nearly six months later, productions are beginning to resume with film and television projects getting back to work in parts of Europe and Canada, albeit with safety protocols in place and Hollywood may soon join those ranks. According to a new report, Hollywood studios and unions are closer to a deal on safety regulations that would allow for a return to work.

Per the report from Deadline (via Variety), the major sticking points in plans to get back to work are testing protocols, sick pay, and travel to work sites. Even with those challenges, however, sources are hopeful that an agreement can be finalized by Monday, September 7th -- Labor Day. Back in June, major Hollywood unions including the Teamsters, the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees released their own back-to-work guidelines with major emphasis on testing, but overall agreements with studios haven't yet been finalized.

"Return to work discussions are ongoing with the Studios and the other Unions and Guilds," Teamsters Local 399 secretary-treasurer Steve Dayan wrote on the union's website. "At this time, we are still trying to finalize some of the remaining issues, however we are getting closer and hope to conclude soon."

Outside of Hollywood, film and television productions around the world have slowly started to resume. In Vancouver, British Columbia some television series -- including The CW's Supernatural -- has resumed filming the final episodes of the popular series. Series stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki along with other members of the cast and crew had to undergo a 14-day quarantine as part of production safety protocols before being able to return to set while in Europe, Warner Bros. has resumed production on The Matrix 4 with its own set of safety protocols in place.

"It's great. It's an honor to be working. I'm in Berlin, you can hear the sirens," Matrix 4 star Keanu Reeves said recently. "You know, there's some really thoughtful, effective protocols in place. The rhythm of filmmaking has not been really impacted or interrupted."

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Are you excited that Hollywood is getting closer to being able to resume film and television production? What film or movie project are you most excited to know is getting back to work? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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