TV dramas will be able to resume filming during the pandemic after new guidelines were created to ensure the safety of cast and crew, which specify social distancing must be kept in place on sets.
The guidance has been agreed jointly by a range of broadcasters and industry bodies including ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, and Pact.
It covers every genre for TV, but will be used in conjunction with forthcoming guidance from the British Film Commission on managing the risks associated with film and high-end TV drama production.
The new guidance details six areas that producers, along with the commissioning broadcaster, must consider when planning to produce during Covid-19. These include specifically considering people at higher risk of harm and reducing the number of people involved in a project.
In particular, the guidance suggests outdoor filming is preferable, but where indoor locations are used, producers should “aim for a large open space with good ventilation”.
The guidance suggests there must be two metres between individuals, and recommends minimum sizes for indoor spaces for filming to ensure enough space between cast and crew.
The guidance also proposes:
● Reviewing and modifying set design to reduce the requirement for close working and time to rig.
● Ensuring script action allows for the two-metre separation rule to be applied.
● Enabling people to do their own make-up or by remote instruction.
● Aiming to self mic as much as possible.
● Making sure costumes are not handed out directly from wardrobe to actors.
The guidance also covers areas such as travelling to work, managing the hygiene of work equipment, staggering work times, and ensuring the mental health of people working on shoots is looked after.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden described the guidance as a “significant step forward in getting our favourite shows back into production”.
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall added: “Working with partners across the industry, and with the support of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, we have created clear guidelines to give producers a framework within which they can ensure that their production is safe."