UPDATED: Local government officials have decided against pulling the plug on overnight location filming in Los Angeles and instead urged producers to avoid doing so for the next month due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles had issued the ban earlier Wednesday but then backtracked a few hours later, according to FilmLA, which said: “Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles have advised FilmLA that filming will not be restricted to the hours between 5 a.m. / 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., as previously announced. Filmmakers are highly encouraged to stay within those limits, if feasible, and be mindful of community impact while California’s Limited Stay at Home Order is in effect.”
Permitting agency FilmLA made the announcement in the wake of the new limited stay-at-home order issued by the state of California, which took effect on Nov. 21 in order to pause all non-essential work and gatherings from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night. The order runs through Dec. 21.
Wednesday’s announcements came a day after FilmLA made an extraordinary pitch to producers to remain in “strict compliance” with COVID-19 safety protocols. The agency noted that California has viewed workers supporting the film, television and commercial production industry —who number in the hundreds of thousands in Greater Los Angeles — as “essential” for the state’s critical infrastructure.
“FilmLA is unaware of any plans to revisit or modify the state’s essential worker definitions, but new stay-at-home orders this week remind us that the COVID-19 pandemic’s progress is unpredictable, and new business regulation can affect any industry at the state, county or city level, at any time,” the agency said. “With coronavirus case counts surging and many sectors of the economy reeling, FilmLA asks all industry customers to be vigilant to help protect jobs and public health.”