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TV and film production given greenlight to resume

British Film Commission issues production guidance for film and high-end TV production

The British government has given the greenlight for production to resume on TV and film production after endorsing a set of guidelines published by the British Film Commission.

The document has been drawn up by the British Film Commission alongside the British Film Institute, and has been developed to help protect crew and cast from Covid-19 related risks. The guidance included in Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production, is not mandatory, but is expected to help producers instigate necessary and scalable safe practice guidelines.

The guidelines include measures such as Covid-19 health and safety training for all crew members; dedicated on site supervision; testing and health checks; social distancing, PPE, hygiene, and mental heath; transport (including only using airlines where distancing practices are deployed); quarantining inbound cast/crew; accommodation; on-set practices to reduce number of people together at one time; catering and craft; cleanliness of equipment; limiting face-to-face meetings; crowd shoots; construction, workshops and off-set services; and costume.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission, said: “We believe this to be the most comprehensive, extensively-consulted on Covid-19 recovery production guidance in the world. It reflects a phenomenal collective effort, for which we must thank the British Film Commission Recovery Group and BFC staff team, alongside the BFI, DCMS and the whole range of organisations, public and private, who contributed.

“The industry is extremely keen to restart production as soon as possible, but not without a comprehensive road map for how to do it safely while the threat of Covid-19 still looms large. Today’s Guidance provides that reassurance, reflecting the latest government, technical and medical advice available. We will also update it on a regular basis, giving clarity on the latest measures recommended to ensure a safe shoot for cast, crew and the wider public.

Wootton added, “This is a vital step to getting our world class film and high-end TV sector back up and running, giving the world confidence we have the most rigorous safety measures in place, and signaling that our sector is ready to return to full strength, and to making its important contribution to the UK Exchequer.”

Meanwhile, VFX and post production body Screen Alliance has also published its own Covid-19 guidance, aimed a providing a framework for companies transitioning back to on-premises working.