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 published Tuesday 19th January 2021 – version 6)
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 (Version 6) 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 1st April 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 TV quarantine exemption (updated Monday 18th January 2021)
As of 4:00am on Monday 18th January, the quarantine exemptions for Television production, and HETV and film production no longer apply, meaning there are no relevant exemptions in place for productions. Read our associated update here.
TV productions quarantine exemption (updated Monday 18th January 2021)
As of 4:00am on Monday 18th January, the quarantine exemptions for Television production, and HETV and film production no longer apply, meaning there are no relevant exemptions in place for productions.
UK Screen Alliance post-production guidance (Last updated Thursday 11th February 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).
NB. This guidance was last updated to align with new Government restrictions on hotel quarantine for incoming international travellers, and new guidance on vaccination and workplace testing.
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 Production Restart Bible
On Friday 5th June we published a Production Restart Bible for Pact members. The document provides members with the necessary contract wording, as UK production restarts, to address the impact of COVID-19 on production. It also sets out a checklist of key heath and safety policy/production protocol considerations that producers may wish to put in place, as well as draft health declaration wording.
The document can be downloaded from the Pact 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.