COVID-19 has had a profound impact on many industries and the audiovisual sector is no exception. Governments around the world have imposed various restrictions to try to limit the further spread of the virus, including strict rules around social distancing and travel, which have far-reaching implications for film and TV production.
The UK film and TV industry has responded by drawing up guidance documents to help film and TV programme makers return to production safely and to stay within wider Government guidelines.
We would like to remind members that these documents provide guidance only. Each production must be assessed on the basis of its own unique circumstances and appropriate protocols should be created for the production accordingly.
Broadcaster guidance (Latest version dated Wednesday 8th September 2021.
Pact, ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV, ITN, and the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services (COBA) joined forces to introduce new industry wide guidelines for producing television safely during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The latest version of the guidance (published 8th September 2021) can be downloaded here.
Close Contact Cohorts and increased screening for COVID-19 - protocol for TV production
This document builds on the industry wide guidelines (TV Production Guidance Managing The Risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Production Making) outlining a high-level framework for the effective assessment and management of Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk in TV production.
The document can be downloaded here.
BFC high-end TV & film production guidance (Last updated 4th October 2021)
The BFC document is intended to provide high-level guidance to manage COVID-19 specific risk in producing film and high-end TV drama in the UK. In the case of high-end TV drama productions, the BFC guidance should be considered alongside the broadcaster guidance above.
The BFC guidance document can be downloaded here.
Film and HETV quarantine exemption (updated 22nd September 2021)
From Wednesday 22nd September, cast and crew working on film and HETV productions travelling from amber list countries who do not qualify for the quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated individuals may still qualify for the film and HETV exemption. Members should note this only applies to England. Read our associated update here.
TV productions quarantine exemption (updated Monday 18th January 2021)
As of 4:00am on Monday 18th January, the quarantine exemption for Television production is no longer in place.
UK Screen Alliance post-production guidance (Last updated 4th October 2021)
The UK Screen Alliance has published guidance for safe working in visual effects and post-production during the pandemic. The guidance aims to provide a framework for post and VFX companies as they transition back to on-premises working with client attendance, whilst ensuring the safety of their employees, contractors, and clients (including producers).
The document can be downloaded here.
To further help production clients, the UK Screen Alliance has updated its Summary of Guidance for Production Teams Attending Post-Production Companies During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which be found on the same page of their website as the main Guidance.
Pact COVID-19 Production Restart Bible (Updated September 2021)
The Pact COVID-19 Production Restart Bible was first published in 2020 to help producers to prepare and deal with the implications of COVID-19 on their productions and/or businesses.
The latest version of the document (dated 01.09.2021) includes a new summary on the Production Restart Scheme; revised wording on health and safety linking to new BFC guidance; revised data protection wording with a new paragraph on vaccination status; and revised wording on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) reflecting the latest government position.
Download the COVID-19 Production Restart Bible via the Resource Library here.
COVID guidance note: Pact Equity TV Agreement (published on Thursday 15th October 2020)
With Equity we have compiled guidance in relation to TV productions filming during COVID. The document sets out those terms agreed between our organisations in relation to self-isolation, testing and force majeure.
You can download the guidance note from the Pact Resource Library here.
Pact’s Policy team has put together a domestic and international travel briefing document for Pact members, which we are regularly updating as and when new announcements are made.
On the Pact Growth Accelerator*, Pact members can find guidance documents from 40+ territories explaining the situation for production in different countries and how to create production protocols using the relevant guidelines. We are continually updating and adding to this page.
Our Managing Director of Business Development & Global Strategy, Dawn McCarthy-Simpson MBE is also available to respond to any queries you may have about filming abroad and international opportunities to grow your business.
*Not registered on the Pact Growth Accelerator? It's our tailor-made online tool, free and exclusively available for Pact members. All you have to do to start using it is register here.
All film and TV industry guidance should also be read in conjunction with the latest UK Government guidance. Productions based in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should additionally check for relevant devolved Government guidance as it may differ.
Pact has created briefing documents for members about the Government guidance and devolved Nations guidance which can be found here.
Should you have any queries relating to any of the industry guidance that has been published to date, please contact Pact’s legal and business affairs team by e-mailing email@example.com.