The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has confirmed that production in the U.K. will be allowed to restart if guidelines are followed, specifically around social distancing.
New government advice
The shift comes as the U.K. government begins to ease lockdown restrictions from Wednesday, allowing people to go to work if they cannot work from home. Production falling under that category.
As reported prior, the British Film Commission has been working on a slew of guidelines streamlined relatively to production from the government’s advice. A number of precautions are set to be involved in the document including having a “COVID-19 supervisor” on set, crew training before shoots catered specifically for Coronavirus, dedicated rigorous cleaning, regular health screenings, government advised quarantining for incoming overseas talent and social distancing guidelines with specific body positions if the distance cannot be adhered to.
The rules named the Film and TV Production Codes of Practice, are currently being revised with their release scheduled for Friday and can be applied to a variety of different productions, both scripted and non-scripted.
A DCMS representative told Screen Daily: “The government is working closely with the screen sector to understand how different types of productions can comply with social distancing guidelines, and give confidence to people in the TV and film industries that there are safe ways in which they can return to work.”
After almost two months of lockdown rules the change will come as a welcome boost, especially to freelancers in the industry whose work is solely based on production. The incoming guidelines will reportedly also note how insurers can better liaise with the industry during the pandemic to help mitigate the substantial risks - associated with the coronavirus - to producers.