Last update: February 1, 2023 2:30 pm
This page summarizes policies and procedures related to on-location film production during the COVID-19 pandemic. This overview is specific to Greater Los Angeles.
This page is updated whenever significant policy changes are introduced by our government partners, with the potential to affect how on-location filming is conducted within local communities.
On 1/24/22, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued new guidance, "Business Safety - Special Conditions for Professional Performers." This guidance reflects changes in isolation and quarantine rules and explains the requirements to allow a professional performer, who is still within 10 days of being exposed to someone with COVID, or of being newly diagnosed with COVID, to unmask indoors to perform.
Most of the filming taking place in our region also continues to be subject to industry-specific workplace safety rules, which are reviewed periodically and enforced by entertainment unions. We invite you to learn more about these rules below.
Please note that as a contractor to the County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, and other LA-area municipalities, FilmLA does not have policymaking authority or enforcement power regarding matters of public health and workplace safety. We are in regular contact with organizations, such as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, CalOSHA, and other entities, that do have this discretion.
The latest updates from FilmLA on Film Industry Workplace Safety and State and Local Health Orders are available below. We also invite you to view our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Click the image for LA County COVID-19 Data at publichealth.lacounty.gov
FILM INDUSTRY WORKPLACE SAFETY
Today, most L.A. based film, television and commercial projects operate within workplace safety guidelines developed by the industry in consultation with medical experts. These guidelines, codified in a Return to Work (RTW) Agreement, are enforced by industry labor unions for their members’ protection.
The RTW Agreement, originally introduced in July 2021 and extended until January 31, 2023, has again been extended to April 1, 2023 and is enforceable indefinitely. The updated Agreement includes only two minor modifications to Part II: pre-employment COVID testing and weekly COVID testing are no longer required for some crew members. Most productions will work under Part II's protocols. Part I has the strictest protocols for areas experiencing a surge in COVID hospitalizations, and it has not been modified. See the updated RTA Agreement here.
Additional modifications include an allowance of five additional sick days and no longer requiring a Covid Compliance Supervisor to be on-site if a member of the compliance team is accessible at all times during working hours.
Besides these updates, the Agreement maintains its core protocols in matters such as PPE requirements; guidance for producers who enact mandatory vaccination policies; and rules for safe cast/crew travel and transportation.
The RTW Agreement was preceded by Health and Safety Guidelines released in June 2020 by the AMPTP’s Industry Wide Labor Management Safety Committee (IWLMSC) Task Force, as well as a supplemental white paper, The Safe Way Forward, jointly authored by safety committee representatives from the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and the Teamsters.
STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH ORDERS
LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has stated in its most recent Health Officer Order that masks must be worn at all times when indoors in public settings, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.
For film productions, this means that when filming interior scenes, all cast and crew must wear a mask except when absolutely necessary to perform a task that cannot feasibly be done while wearing one. For more information, please see the LACDPH Public Health Order on page 5, section 4.h.
Previously, in connection with the State of California’s decision to move into a new reopening phase, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a new Health Order entitled “A Safer Return Together at Work and in the Community” and new Best Practices Guidance for Businesses to Prevent COVID-19.
These actions removed strict capacity limits, physical distancing requirements and many other previously required safety modifications applicable to local businesses, while encouraging vaccination to protect the community. County-authored protocols specific to film, television, and commercial production, codified as Appendix J, were also retired through this action.