State Watch

Union requiring boosters for vaccinated film crews

Hollywood unions and studios will now require all vaccinated employees to get their booster shots against COVID-19, The Los Angeles Times reported.

One of the U.S. film industry’s biggest unions, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has stipulated that if a production mandates vaccines for cast and crew. that means they need a booster dose as well.

According to the LA Times, the SAG-AFTRA, which represents more than 160,000 actors and other performers, told members Wednesday that the industry’s current return-to-work agreement had been extended until April 30.

Some of the other changes will require employers to provide the more protective KN95 or N95 masks on set, and allow productions to use cheaper and faster antigen tests. Film crews will still get up to 10 days for COVID-19-related sick leave, the report added.

At the 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be held Feb. 27 in Santa Monica, SAG-AFTRA will also require “all ticketed attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination plus booster shot if eligible, proof of negative lab-based Covid-19 PCR test within 48 hours of event, and negative antigen (rapid) test the day of the event,” according to Deadline.

Those rules led “Yellowstone” actor Forrie J. Smith to announce this week that he will not attend the awards ceremony  because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced last week that people in California who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be required to wear masks inside starting Feb. 15.

However, unvaccinated people are still required to wear masks despite the fact that the statewide mandate has expired.

“Our statewide indoor mask requirement will expire on 2/15. Unvaccinated people will still need to wear masks indoors,” Newsom said in a tweet

However, local governments are permitted to impose their own masking policies throughout California. 

The state reimposed its statewide indoor mask mandate in December as the highly contagious omicron variant drove a surge in coronavirus infections in the state and across the world. 

After hospitalizations in California peaked last month, they have since fallen by 65 percent, the governor said last week.  

Tags COVID-19 vaccine mandates Gavin Newsom mask mandates SAG-AFTRA SAG-AFTRA Screen Actors Guild Awards

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