Certain activities, such as writing and casting, are still encouraged to be conducted virtually whenever possible. At the same time, other parts of production — including live studio audiences — are being discouraged, with restrictions like social-distancing measures when used.
Actors and other performers, the report notes, are “most vulnerable because they cannot wear PPE [personal protective equipment] when cameras are rolling, and frequently will not be able to engage in physical distancing.” That will require greater testing frequency for them and those with whom they are in close contact.
There are some activities, such as makeup and fight scenes, where stronger safeguards aren’t possible, the report acknowledges.
The plan was produced by the Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Committee Task Force, which was formed specifically for that purpose, with input from epidemiologists and sanitation experts.
Other aspects of the guidelines include the ability to respond appropriately if personnel contract the virus, educational programs, and a designated compliance officer on each production. Efforts will also be made to “assess health/wellness of all personnel prior to entry onto set.”
The white paper specifies that personal protective equipment be provided “to all cast and crew at no cost.”
Because of the uncertainty associated with Covid-19, U.S. networks have been working on contingency measures if production is significantly delayed. That includes acquiring programs that have already been produced either for streaming services or other countries such as the U.K. and Canada.