Lionsgate is the latest Hollywood studio to press pause on reopening its offices as the U.S. experiences a rise in the Covid Delta variant.
We’re hearing that the company is pushing its return-to-work date for employees at its Santa Monica HQ from a previously announced September 7 date to October 4. All employees returning to the office will be required to be fully vaccinated. That policy applies to full-time, part-time and temporary employees as well as independent contractors and visitors, we’re hearing.
The news comes as several Hollywood companies spanning studios, agencies, management and PR firms and law offices hit the brakes on plans to a full return to offices. Most like Lionsgate have scrapped September dates and are hoping to reassemble their troops sometime the following month, while they’re also having to make a call on vaccination requirements. On Wednesday, Netflix confirmed it is now requiring Covid-19 vaccines of its staffers and those visiting its offices.
Lionsgate’s shift comes as Los Angeles County last night said all its employees will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by October 1 under an executive order issued by Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis. That order came on a day the county announced another 3,734 cases — the largest single-day number since the beginning of February.
After a spring and early summer saw Covid cases plummet in California, leading to a full reopening in June, the more contagious Delta variant has been spreading via mostly the unvaccinated. After weeks of big jumps in cases, Covid- related hospitalizations in the state were up 97% in the past 10 days.