Filming in Portugal can continue, despite lockdown

The country has witnessed a record-breaking surge in Covid cases

By Chris Evans 15 Jan 2021

Filming in Portugal can continue, despite lockdown
There's Always Hope filming in Portugal

Portugal went into lockdown today (15 January) as Covid case numbers surge, but shooting of films, TV shows and commercials can continue.

“The extremely difficult pandemic situation we are facing obliges all of us to cooperate and respect the norms, which regulate the state of emergency now proclaimed in the country, but there are no specific limitations on filming activities,” Manuel Claro, Portugal Film Commissioner confirmed to KFTV.

However, he added that although shoots can continue, and there are several film, TV and commercials productions in place, the preferred course would be to postpone or suspend productions, if possible, as it is a “civic duty to help authorities to stop the progression of the pandemic”.

More information on lockdown restrictions and filming requirements can be found here.

Portugal’s government ordered the country into a coronavirus lockdown Wednesday as health authorities reported 10,556 new confirmed cases and 156 virus-related deaths in 24 hours, both national records. 

Prime Minister António Costa said the pandemic  is “at its most dangerous point.” The lockdown is expected to last at least a month.

One of the productions that has been shooting in Portugal in the Algarve, is Tim Lewiston’s UK-Portuguese feature drama There’s Always Hope, starring Colm Meaney and Kate Ashfield.

Harriet Hammond of Bad Penny Productions, the film’s co-producers told KFTV: “It was easy to source the locations thanks to the Portuguese authorities exempting the film industry from the Covid-19 restrictions they have imposed on the rest of the country.”

However the shoot has been adhering to strict Covid-19 protocols. “We combined the existing UK protocols with the Covid‑19 protocols for filming recommended by the Portuguese directorate-general of health for the prevention of Covid-19 and issued by the Portugal Film Commission,” Hammond explains. “We are using predominantly a Portuguese crew with a number of British heads of department, and lighting and grip equipment from Portugal. Both crew and equipment have been first-class.” 

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