In light of an unprecedented rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a limited stay-at-home order. The order requires “generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier.” That means basically every county in Southern California and 94% of the state’s population.
But Newsom’s office told Deadline on Thursday that the order (read it here) did not apply to entertainment industry workers, who are on the list of essential workers and thus an exception to the rule.
The governor’s original Stay-at-Home order (read it here) from March includes the following passage, which still applies:
California Governor Gavin Newsom Issues Limited Stay-At-Home Order Through December 21;
In accordance with this order, the State Public Health Officer has designated the following list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.
On that list of exemptions, under “Industrial, Commercial, Residential, and Sheltering Facilities and Services,” there is essential worker designation 15 which reads, “Workers supporting the entertainment industries, studios, and other related establishments, provided they follow covid-19 public health guidance around physical distancing.”
The guidance does indicate this exemption only applies if remote work is not possible, but with film and TV production it is often not.
Film and TV production employees were not included on the essential workers list during the first California shutdown in March. Their addition to the list speaks to the success and strong protocols on set since then. The document was last updated September 22.
See the full list of essential workers here.