We have received a number of queries concerning the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and its potential impact on productions.
At this stage, prevention and planning are key but this is a moving situation and Pact recommends keeping up to date with Government guidance and updates as far as possible.
For the latest guidance on the overall situation please refer to the government website - www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance specific to employers and businesses
The government have also issued guidance specific to employers and businesses which will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:
- The novel coronavirus, COVID-19
- How to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
- What to do if someone suspected of having or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting
- Advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from COVID-19
See the employers and businesses guidance in full here.
Operating in and with the general public
In relation to operating in and with the general public the Government has issued specific guidance which will help with:
- Preventing spread of infection
- Actions on return from China and specified countries and areas
- Symptoms and what to do in that situation
- Feeling unwell while away from home
- Cleaning shared spaces
See the operating in and with the general public guidance in full here.
Business continuity planning
Business continuity planning is a proactive plan to mitigate risks associated with a disruption of operations which may be caused by the likes of COVID-19.
The plan should address how to keep your business running even if a significant number of employees, contractors and suppliers cannot come to your place of business – either due to local restrictions on travel or because they are ill. This plan should then be communicated to your employees and contractors to ensure they are aware of what they need to do – or not do – under the plan.
Companies are advised to consider putting a business continuity plan in place for the possible scenarios which may occur as a result of the spread of COVID-19.
Agreements with suppliers, crew, artists, etc.
In respect of agreements in place with suppliers, crew, artists, etc., the terms of each agreement will differ and therefore the applicable advice will too.
A helpful summary in relation to COVID-19 and contracts can be found here.
If you wish to rely on force majeure provisions of a contract, we recommend you seek legal counsel.