Hollywood’s guilds are playing it safe this awards season. Proof of vaccinations will be required for all those attending the SAG Awards, the DGA Awards, the Producers Guild Awards, the Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards, the Art Directors Guild Awards and the Cinematographers Guild’s Publicists Awards Luncheon. And it’s only fitting since Hollywood’s unions were among the first unions in the nation to allow employers to require vaccinations as a condition of employment, which made a safe return to work possible during the two-year-long Covid pandemic.
The WGA is playing it safest of all: its awards, set for March 20, will be held virtually. The Costume Designers Guild, like the Academy Awards, hasn’t announced its in-person protocols yet.
How Unions Saved Hollywood During The Pandemic And What’s In Store For 2022
Here’s the lowdown for the guilds’ in-person shows as it stands now, though the situation is fluid and subject to change as conditions warrant.
The Directors Guild of America tells Deadline that attendees at its awards gala, set for March 12 at the Beverly Hilton, must be “fully vaccinated and tested.” The DGA Awards come later in the season than many of the other awards shows, and the DGA says that more detailed protocols will be forthcoming as the event approaches.
For the 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be held February 27 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, SAG-AFTRA says that it “endeavors to make this event as safe as possible. The health and well-being of our nominees, guests, staff, and crew is our number one priority. We are working closely with Covid experts to ensure a safe ceremony and are in compliance with local government and guilds’ Covid-19 protocols. This includes limiting capacity, social distancing, and strict enforcement of the Covid-19 safety requirements set forth below. Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, the post-Awards Gala will no longer be taking place following the ceremony.
“We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation around the Omicron variant and will adjust our plans and health protocols as necessary. This policy may be subject to change based on guidance from health and safety officials or changes in state or local safety mandates. While we are enacting all precautions that are practical for a live televised awards show, attendance at this event will not be 100% without risk. If you are not comfortable with this limited risk, we advise that you do not attend the event.”
SAG-AFTRA also notes that its show, which will be televised, “will be subject to public health authorities’ guidelines and recommendations, as well as any venue and/or Covid-19 production restrictions. All attendees including credentialed media and publicists, ticketed guests, talent, production crew and staff must agree to comply with all Covid-19-related restrictions.”
As spelled out on its website, SAG-AFTRA says that “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.”
All in-person attendees will also be required to wear KN95 or KF94 masks for the entirety of the show, except for:
• The red carpet and media center: “Nominees, presenters, and any individuals participating in Red Carpet / Media Center press opportunities are allowed to remove masks for anything on camera, still or video. Masks must be placed back on following the completion of the press opportunities.
• Media: On-camera talent are permitted to remove their mask while on camera but are required to put their mask back on between on camera segments.
• Showroom: Ticketed attendees may remove masks during the live broadcast of the SAG Awards when on camera. Masks must be placed back on during commercial breaks.
• Eating/drinking: Masks are also allowed to be removed while actively eating and/or drinking. Masks must be worn whenever guests leave their table.
SAG-AFTRA also says that “any attendee who is not feeling well, is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, or who has had a Covid-19 exposure within five days prior to the show MUST stay home.
• All in-person attendees are required to wear masks at all times to help protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19.
• When possible, sanitize and/or wash your hands frequently. Hand sanitizer stations will be available in all areas within the SAG Awards campus.
• Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
• When possible, practice social distancing from other attendees.
The union also said that for members of the press:
• Social distancing should be maintained between the production crew and talent at all times
• On-camera talent are permitted to remove their mask while on-camera but are required to put their mask back on between on-camera segments. Furthermore, when face masks are not being worn, please keep interviews as brief as possible.
• All media must be socially distanced from the talent being interviewed.
• High-touch surfaces including handheld microphones should be cleaned and disinfected prior to and following each use.
• When possible, Talent being interviewed should be provided with their own microphone.
The Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild, whose ninth annual awards will be held February 19 at the Beverly Hilton, tells Deadline: “As the first major guild award show of the season,” it has taken “extraordinary steps to ensure the health and safety of all guests. We have partnered with VOW, a top U.S. government-contracted vendor for health and safety protocols at public events. The following will be enforced to ensure everyone can relax and enjoy the in-person experience of this important celebration”:
• All guests will be required to download the VOW app which will verify Covid compliance at the door.
• Proof of both vaccinations will be required (either physical vaccination card or via local government agency vaccination app).
• A negative PCR test result within 72 hours or negative Antigen test within 24 hours or a doctor’s note stating you have had Covid within the last 90 days (and are symptom free for at least 10 days) will be required.
• KN95 masks will be distributed to all attendees and all guests. Everyone will be required to wear these masks when they are not eating or on the red carpet (i.e. no custom or cloth masks will be allowed)
• We are going a step further and requiring the same testing protocols for all hotel service and event production staff, as well as any attending industry public relations and media.
The Art Directors Guild, IATSE Local 800, will hold its 27th ADG Awards on March 5 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. “Guests must provide proof of full vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test result,” the guild says. “The negative result, if using a PCR test, must be within 72 hours prior to the event and negative results with an Antigen test must be within 24 hours prior to the event to ensure the health and safety of all guests. Guests 18 years and older must also provide a photo ID with matching name. These items will be reviewed at the main entrance.
The ADG says that “The following will be enforced to ensure everyone can relax and enjoy this in-person experience”:
• Proof of full vaccination.
• Photo ID with matching name.
• A negative PCR test result within 72 hours or negative Antigen test result within 24 hours or a doctor’s note stating you have had Covid within the last 90 days.
• Masks will be required for all attendees and all guests. Everyone will be required to wear these masks when they are not eating or drinking (KN95 masks preferred, no custom or cloth masks will be allowed).
• Access to the official Red Carpet will be limited. There will be a secondary step and repeat with easy access.
• Hotel Staff are fully vaccinated.
• Crew and all backstage ADG staff will be tested by Covid compliance team Clean Slate Crew.
The Publicists Awards Luncheon, held under the auspices of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, will be held March 25 at the Beverly Hilton. “We will continue to closely monitor and will follow the CDC and state of California Covid safety protocol with plans to reevaluate the situation on March 1,” the guild tells Deadline. “To ensure the safety of our members and guests of the Publicists Awards, attendees must show proof of vaccination at the door to enter the awards show.”
The Producers Guild, which is not a union but a nonprofit trade organization, will hold its 33rd annual Producers Guild Awards on March 19 at the Fairmont Century Plaza. It had originally been scheduled for Feb. 26 but was pushed back “due to the circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 Omicron variant.” The PGA says that it is “working closely with government officials and health experts to implement strict Covid-19 safety protocols to help protect the health and safety of all staff and attendees. At this time, the following will be required for attendance: proof of the Covid-19 vaccination and booster, if eligible, as well as a recent negative Covid-19 test.”
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