Proposals were first mooted in late May by the state’s governor Gavin Newsom, but having taken the TV and film industry by surprise with his comments during a virtual roundtable, the guidance was then delayed.
The guidelines have now been published by the California Department of Public Health, which has said production can resume for TV and film production “no sooner” than 12 June.
The permission is subject to approval by county public health officials, who will look at the spread of Covid-19 across local communities and their ability to deal with a potential surge in cases.
Officials said that cast, crew and other industry workers “should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management” to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
The developments come after an industry-backed white paper from the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers was sent to governors in California and New York detailing how production might be re-started, including testing procedures and the use of face masks. US production unions have remained cautious, however, suggesting that the procedures still require more detail.
Plans to return California to production were first discussed in May by Newsom, but while guidelines allowed limited numbers of people to return to places of worship and some shops across the Hollywood state, there had been no guidelines for TV or film sectors until Friday’s announcement.
Newsom’s comments during the original roundtable, at which he was joined by Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos and showrunner Ava DuVernay, caused consternation among some Hollywood execs who suggested work-arounds to protect the safety of cast and crews remained unclear.