Hollywood studios and the unions covering entertainment industries in the US have finalised an agreement that allows creative workers to resume work under Covid-19 protocols.

The guidelines are based on The Safe Way Forward, a document drawn up by unions and guilds after consulting with leading epidemiologists and experts, and an industry-wide white paper.

Both documents were announced more than three months ago.

Key principles include regular testing, a zone-based system on productions, and “diligent” use of personal protective equipment.

The zone system starts with Zone A – performers and those who are in contact with performers, all of whom require at least three tests a week – down to Zone D, which comprises remote workers associated with the production who are not in the production environment, who will be tested before their first day of work.

Every production will have a designated Covid-19 compliance supervisor.

The document allows all employees to receive 10 days of Covid-19 paid sick leave, per producer. Employees will be reinstated, so long as their position still exists, upon their return to work.

Subject to limited exceptions, employees who must quarantine or isolate at the request of an employer or as required by local law will receive quarantine pay.

The agreement is between Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Basic Crafts, and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

“Getting everyone safely back to sets and back to telling stories in these difficult times has been critical for all of us,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme, adding that the process had been a “long and complicated”.