COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for all casts and key crew on Netflix's U.S. productions
Netflix is not taking the fourth wave lightly.
If you want to work on a Netflix show or movie that films in the United States, the streaming giant says you better be vaccinated.
As the Delta variant continues to become the most prominent form of COVID-19 cases among the infected in the U.S., Netflix has taken a firm stance in mandating that all cast and crew members in close proximity to them on any U.S. set must be vaccinated, EW has learned. That makes it the first major Hollywood studio to do so.
More specifically, this applies to anyone operating in "Zone A." In the Zone System, which was formulated by Hollywood's guilds to keep productions going through the pandemic, Zone A is the area of a production in which the actors and any key crew members physically near them operate.
Deadline, which was the first to report the news, also states that Netflix is exploring similar mandatory vaccinations for cast and crew across U.K. productions.
Last week, Hollywood unions and major studios got together and made it possible for producers "to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis," as reads an update by the Directors Guild of America to its members. Netflix, however, has made this a blanket mandate in the U.S.
The decision comes as a fourth wave, fueled by the Delta variant and a large percentage of Americans refusing to get vaccinated, has hit the U.S.
On Wednesday, the Center for Disease Control reported an increase in cases in more than 90 percent of states and territories, and 61,976 as the current seven-day average of daily cases. As of July 17, the Delta variant, a.k.a. B.1.617.2, makes up 82.2 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
In light of the latest surge in cases, the CDC changed its recommendations to urge citizens, vaccinated or not, to wear mask or face coverings again in public indoor spaces that are high risk for transmission.
COVID-19 infections are still a concern for productions. Filming on Bridgerton season 2 in the U.K. had to pause in July after two people involved with the show tested positive. House of the Dragon, HBO's Game of Thrones prequel spin-off series, also hit a similar snag but resumed production a few days later.
Netflix shows like Stranger Things (season 4) and Pieces of Her, and movies like White Noise and The Mothership are currently in production in the U.S.