Film crews may have to quarantine together under Covid-19 guidance

Guidelines say crew should live in ‘controlled environment’ as production resumes

Film casts and crew could be expected to quarantine together for two weeks prior to filming. Photograph: iStock.

Film casts and crew could be expected to quarantine together for two weeks prior to filming. Photograph: iStock.

 

Film casts and crew could be expected to quarantine together for two weeks prior to filming and to live in a “controlled environment” during filming, in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus as production of tv and film resumes.

Under guidance by Screen Producers Ireland, developed in line with the Government’s public health advice, a number of changes were proposed to ensure the safety of staff as the sector begins to reopen.

Some of the changes could include longer production times, an increase in remote working and a limited number of people on set at any one time.

The guidelines state that quarantine prior to production is suggested as an “effective solution” to rural location based productions with a small cast.

For larger productions, the guidelines suggest introducing “zone working”, which requires staff to be divided into physical work zones.

“The number of people allowed into the shooting zone must be kept to the minimum and must facilitate adherence to social distancing requirements,” the guidelines state.

Pods

Pod working was also recommended, which is where each person is allocated to a designated isolating pod.

“Each person is in physical contact with only members of that pod, and should be able to minimise their physical interaction with other work pods,” it said.

Production companies will be requested to keep a daily log of work contact/group work which is to be used in the case of contact tracing a possible Covid-19 transmission.

The guidelines state that any data that is collected for this purpose will be “treated confidentially with limitation on access, and strict time limits for erasure”.

For those taking part in stunts, the guidelines state that personal stunt protective equipment such as pads and harnesses should not be shared “if possible”.

All other equipment should be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use, Screen Producers Ireland said.

“Consider an equipment wrangler to clean, disinfect and monitor equipment being that will be used by stunt performers and cast,” the organisation added.

Daily contactless temperature checks on cast, crew and extras may be implemented in line with public health advice and cast members are advised to wear face coverings or masks when off set.

Some of the other recommendations include a response plan to deal with a suspected case of Covid-19, the introduction of contingency measures to address increased rates of absenteeism and the implementation of measures necessary to reduce the spread of the virus, such as changing work patterns.