As a fourth wave of the pandemic begins to wash over the US, Netflix has become the first Hollywood studio to mandate vaccines on US productions for actors and people who are in close contact with them.
The streamer did not comment when reached by Screendaily, however it is understood it has implemented the blanket policy in Zone A – the most restrictive on-set area of Covid protocols where actors and a limited number of crew members work.
The move comes in light of the latest return to work guidelines approved by Hollywood unions and studios last week that paved the way for mandatory vaccine orders on productions should producers wish to implement them.
At time of writing no other studio was understood to have implemented a similar policy.
Last week Sean Penn, who recently travelled to Cannes to support the world premiere of Flag Day, said he would not return work on Starz’s Watergate TV show Gaslight unless all cast and crew were fully vaccinated.
Parts of the US are experiencing the latest pandemic wave fuelled by the Delta variant, a plateauing of the vaccination rollout, and vaccine hesitancy among a sizeable chunk of the population. According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of Wednesday 49.3% of the US population was fully vaccinated, while 57.1% have received at least one dose.
On Monday (July 26) California said all state employees and health workers must be fully vaccinated. State employees who are unvaccinated must submit to weekly testing, while unvaccinated public and private health workers are expected to test regularly.
Los Angeles County is requiring people to wear masks in public indoor spaces and California has advised people do so across the state.