May 13, 2022

UK relaxes COVID film and TV production guidance protocols

The British Film Commission (BFC) has issued new guidelines on COVID production protocols and there is no doubt that the UK screen industry will breathe a sigh of relief.

The revised guidelines, which have been drafted in consultation with industry and are based on the UK government’s published ‘Living with COVID-19’ strategy, have removed COVID supervisor mandates, social distancing, plexiglass screens and the intensive cleaning as well as the lifting of the ban on artisanal service buffets.

However, the updated guidelines still recommend a number of COVID safe practices, including the voluntary implementation of a COVID testing program, the provision of hygiene facilities such as washing stations hands and sanitizer, daily symptom check for the entire production and symptom response. plan. “Be aware that all production may be halted for group testing if someone who has extensive contact with the cast and crew tests positive for COVID-19,” the guide still warns.

“As the world learns to live with COVID-19, the BFC’s guidance on working safely during COVID-19 in high-end film and TV production remains an essential tool in keeping the workplace safe. crew and cast and how productions work,” said Adrian Wootton OBE, chief executive of the British Film Commission. “This advice has been instrumental in keeping our sector working throughout the pandemic. Its practices are established and observed, and in many cases willfully exceeded, by studios and productions, all of which seek to make the safety, health and mental well-being of cast, crew and community a top priority. We will continue to update these guidelines and keep them under review in consultation with government and our industry partners.

Among the main changes:

COVID Supervisors

The guidelines no longer direct producers to “assign a properly trained COVID-19 health and safety supervisor to production.”

Instead, he says productions “should consider hiring a properly trained COVID-19 production supervisor as part of their broader health and safety.” [health and safety] protocols, to cover all COVID-19 specific requirements in all departments.

Previous guidelines also said productions should “assign clear lines of COVID-19 enforcement responsibility for safer work,” which included a COVID health and safety supervisor to undertake a risk assessment. , monitor compliance and have the power to “stop unsafe work practices. “This has now been removed.

Social distancing

Previously, guidance suggested keeping individuals as separate as possible, for example with staggered call-in times, limited set access and extra time to set up, shoot and strike. He also suggested keeping “interaction between departments to a minimum whenever possible”.

All of that has now been removed. However, the new guidelines still suggest that productions “should consider remote working practices and avoid in-person meetings whenever possible.”

Restoration

Previous guidelines called for strict rules around catering, including “no communal food preparation, storage or serving”, staggered meal and break times, the placement of screens and, where possible, the operation of pre-order and/or one-way systems. .

These have now been removed.

Unit/installation base vehicles

The guidelines no longer require productions to allocate individual molded trailers/spaces and place plexiglass or clear plastic screens in craft and tech trailers.

Cleaning

The requirement to have all areas professionally cleaned and disinfected daily – including trailers, workstations and eating areas – has been removed.

The full guide can be accessed here.