After the government’s announcement on Saturday night of a second, month-long lockdown in England beginning on Thursday, it has been made clear that film, TV and commercials production can continue under its current safe-working guidelines.

Boris Johnson announced that “workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.”

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed soon after via his official Twitter account that that would include film and TV production.

He said: “The changes mean people should WFH where possible But where this is not possible, travel to a place of work will be permitted – e.g. this includes (but not exhaustive) elite sport played behind closed doors, film & tv production, telecoms workers”

Film and television production is also permitted under current restrictions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Responding to the Government’s announcement, Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, said: “Despite the extraordinary and difficult circumstances surrounding this second national lockdown, it’s a great relief to see confirmation from the Culture Secretary that we have Government’s support to continue Film and TV Production in the UK during lockdown, so long as productions are safely working within the extremely rigorous and comprehensive COVID safety guidance prepared by the British Film Commission, developed in liaison with Government and industry.”

Commercials producers’ trade body the APA tweeted while during the first lockdown, “most production did stop, as we all grappled with how to move forward and no guidance on how to work safety was available, so work did not resume until people felt safer and were confident via our guidelines that they could shoot safely and responsibly, but even then they weren’t legally required to stop.

“It is different this time – we have the guidelines in place and APA members have shown we can work safely and responsibly over the course of the many productions that have taken place over the last few months.

“We will spread the word to advertisers and agencies and please take every opportunity to do the same of course.”

Jon Creamer