The rest COVID-19 restrictions in England and Northern Ireland – including the legal requirement to isolate oneself after a positive test – may be coming to an end after this week’s controversial announcement by the British Government. But the security guidelines that the film and television industry follows will remain in place.
But according to the British Film Commission, the very extensive Working Safely Under COVID-19 in film and high-end television drama Production guidelines, which they spearheaded in 2020 following a major industry-wide consultation process, would be updated to reflect recent changes. The organization told Hollywood Reporter that the update – which will include references to self-insulation – will be added on February 24, the day the restrictions are lifted.
The Commission also revealed that it would discuss the government’s recently announced plan, entitled Living With COVID, with its partners, but did not provide a timeframe or suggest that the guidelines be repealed.
“The UK Film Commission will in due course consult with our COVID-19 Working Group on Physical Production on the Government’s plan to live with COVID-19 in relation to the guidance to work safely under COVID-19 in film and high-end television. drama production, “said Adrian Wootton OBE, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London. “In the immediate term, the guidelines will be updated to reflect the changes in self-insulation requirements in parts of the UK.”
The guidelines, first unveiled in May 2020, are not legally binding, but serve as a framework and cover measures such as on-site monitoring, testing and health checks, mask wearing and transport, and have been widely adopted across the UK alongside the state-funded insurance program. They have been credited with helping restart the film and television industry after the lockdown, now in the midst of a major production boom.
As of 23 February, suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in England and Northern Ireland are not required by law to isolate themselves. However, anyone who tests positive is advised to stay home and avoid contact with other people for at least five full days and then continue to follow the instructions until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days. However, the requirements for self-insulation in Scotland and Wales are still in place.