U.K. Broadcasters Publish Guidance for Restarting TV Production

(Image credit: TVBEurope)

LONDON—U.K. broadcasters have published a document outlining industry guidelines for TV production to resume following the coronavirus shutdown.

ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV, ITN, the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services (COBA) and Pact have joined forces on the document.

It covers all aspects of TV, and is complementary to the forthcoming British Film Commission guidance on managing the risks associated with film and high-end TV drama production.

The broadcasters state the number one priority remains the safety and well-being of production teams and those who work with them. It has taken into account the current government guidelines on the safe return to work, but is expected to evolve over the coming months as the lockdown is eased.

In summary, the guidance details six areas that producers, in conjunction with the commissioning broadcaster, must consider when planning to produce during COVID-19. They are:

  • Specifically consider people at higher risk of harm
  • Heighten precautions for everyone at work
  • Reduce the number of people involved
  • Consider editorial "on camera" requirements
  • Consider mental health and well-being
  • Feedback loop

It also sets out suggested controls for producers to consider, including the physical capacity of the space given the requirements of social distancing along with the provision of key hygiene facilities; good hygiene and managing potential issues with work equipment touchpoints should be addressed; and the use of PPE equipment should only be used as “a last resort.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Great British television is keeping us company throughout the crisis, and I’m keen to get cameras rolling as soon as it is safe. Our creative industries are Britain’s global calling card and this is a significant step forward in getting our favorite shows back into production.”

The full document can be downloaded here.

This story originally appeared on TVT's sister publication TVBEurope.

Jenny Priestley

Jenny has worked in the media throughout her career, joining TVBEurope as editor in 2017. She has also been an entertainment reporter, interviewing everyone from Kylie Minogue to Tom Hanks; as well as spending a number of years working in radio. She continues to appear on radio every week and occasionally pops up on TV.