Hollywood’s major studios and guilds are once again extending their return-to-work talks.
The current contract was scheduled to expire June 30, after getting a three month extension from the original April date. But the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the industry’s top guilds — including SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, the DGA, the Teamsters and the Basic Crafts — have agreed to keep the current protocols in place for longer.
A joint statement from the negotiating parties said they were “taking necessary time to negotiate COVID-19 safety agreement modifications” and that the current protocols, which were laid out by them all last September after months of negotiation, will stay in place until a new agreement is reached.
The new extension will give them even more time to hash out the details of the updated on-set protocols, and determine whether vaccines should be mandatory on film and television sets. As of now, they are not — but strict safety protocols, including mask-wearing, social distancing and frequent testing, are being followed to keep COVID-19 from spreading.
The news comes as the situation with COVID-19 remains fluid around the world. While vaccination rates have gone up, the new highly-contagious Delta variant of the virus has had some authorities and businesses recommending mask-wearing again.