UK lockdown 3: Production can continue

Filming granted another exemption as government introduces strict nationwide measures

By Max Goldbart 5 Jan 2021

UK lockdown 3: Production can continue
Amazon/BBC One's The Offenders

Filming granted another exemption as government introduces strict nationwide measures

Producers in England have had their worst fears assuaged as filming remains on the list of activities exempt from the nationwide lockdown.

Boris Johnson’s seven-week England-wide shutdown, which joins similar measures in the other nations, is due to officially come into force tomorrow (6 January) prompting some concerns of a return to the situation during the first March-to-June lockdown when some production was prohibited.

Derek Drennan, who runs small indie consultancy The Nest, said he was contacted by numerous producers in the middle of shoots yesterday afternoon, concerned that the lockdown would spell the end for production again.

Following Johnson’s 8pm announcement, however, culture secretary Oliver Dowden swiftly tweeted an exemption from the work-from-home order that includes “recording studios and film and TV production”.

Furthermore, a list of businesses including hospitality venues, hotels and entertainment venues are permitted to stay open if they are being used “for the purposes of film and TV filming”, according to the website.

Production received a similar greenlight during the second England-wide lockdown in November.

Producers must continue to abide by stringent Covid protocols and have the ability to tap into the £500m Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, which acts as an insurance backstop and was recently extended until April.

The lockdown, which is expected to extend into March, has been brought in for a third time in less than a year due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

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