The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, STV, ITN, the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services (COBA) and Pact have developed new specific guidance for producing television safely when cast and crew need to work more closely than two metres apart.

The guidance is intended to enable a safe and sensible return to production for the television industry following the Covid-19 pandemic, and builds on guidance issued in May.

The guidance covers how pairs or small groups of cast and crew could interact closer than two metres safely on set – where all other options have been considered and discounted, including adapting editorial onscreen requirements.  It covers the broad range and scale of all TV programme making in every genre for TV and is complementary to British Film Commission guidance on managing the risks associated with film and high-end TV drama production.

The guidance can be found here

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/safety/documents/health/covid19-close-contact-cohorts.pdf

A BBC spokesperson said: “Getting TV production back up and running safely is our priority.  The BBC has already produced popular shows during lockdown following social distancing  – from Have I Got News For You to Talking Heads. But, if we are to get back to producing the range and quality of programmes that the public love which reflect real life interactions, we are going to need to film scenes and shows where people are closer than two metres apart.

“There will be increased screening for these groups, alongside daily symptom checks and close contact periods would be restricted on set. Close contact groups will be asked to follow social distancing rules during the time between an antigen test and their arrival on set, as well as observing social distancing in their daily life during the filming period. We will keep this advice under review if the situation changes.”

An ITV spokesperson said: “ITV has continued to be at the heart of informing, entertaining and connecting the UK through the Covid-19 crisis and production teams continue to work hard to bring back many more loved shows. Working with partners across the industry, this advice builds on the industry wide guidelines published in May and reflect the evolving situation we all find ourselves in. Above all, the guidance is there to ensure the safety and well-being of all those who work on the programmes.”

Jon Creamer