Netflix will require actors and those who come in close proximity to them to be vaccinated against COVID-19, in accordance with Hollywood’s new return-to-work protocols.
The mandate, which is the first broad production vaccination requirement to be announced by a Hollywood studio, will affect casts and “Zone A” crew — those who come in close contact with actors — for all of the streamer’s U.S. productions.
Last week, the Hollywood unions and major studios agreed on new protocols that gave producers “the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis.” However, productions cannot impose vaccine mandates for other workers — those in zones B, C and D.
Production workers in the Los Angeles area will need to be tested for COVID frequently, regardless of vaccination status, and Los Angeles County currently requires all residents to wear masks indoors in work and commercial settings.
Several other series currently in production are requiring crew members to be vaccinated, but most productions are taking it on a show-by-show basis.
The Netflix mandate, which was first reported by Deadline, was announced as the COVID-19 Delta variant threatens the return to normal that the industry had been anticipating. Although breakthrough cases are rare and are extremely unlikely to require hospitalization, there have been numerous reports of fully vaccinated individuals becoming infected with the variant.
While productions are following the union mandates, other parts of the industry are adapting on the fly. Many premieres and festivals are requiring either vaccinations or negative COVID tests, while some are scaling back in the face of the Delta variant.