WHAT'S NEW - COVID-19 Latest News

COVID-19 Latest News

Last updated 24 Nov 2020

Testing update and revised advice on limitations of testing and return to work. Click here

See our updated Testing Brief here.

New Pfizer and Moderna Vaccine information. See the new update here

We have updated our guidance on returning to work following a confirmed case of Covid.  See the updated guidance here.

Test To Release: Click here
ejhduhsuhdu Passangers will be able to book a test from a provider on a GOV.UK list before arriving in England. 

The two-week quarantine period for international arrivals to England is to be cut to as little as five days next month, with travellers allowed to leave self-isolation after a negative COVID-19 test. The government said the new "test to release" regime would be in place from 15th December. Passengers who choose to use the scheme must book a test before travel - and pay for it privately - from a list of government-approved suppliers, which has yet to be published. The cost is likely to be between £65 and £120. Anyone arriving in England by plane, ferry or train will still need to complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate for five full days before taking a test.

New Tier Update:

There are 3 tiers for local restrictions: 

Tier 1: Medium Alert 

Tier 2: High Alert 

Tier 3: Very High Alert 

On Thursday 26th November the government will announce which areas are in which tier. You will be able to use the postcode checker to find out the restrictions in your area or an area you plan to visit. The NHS COVID-19 app will be updated on 2nd December.

The new rules will come into effect from beginning of Wednesday 2nd December.

Posters which summarise the rules:  Click here 

Travel Quarantine 'Test to Release' proposals: Click here

New COVID-19 Vaccine Updates:

On Monday 9th November, it was announced that early results from the world's first effective vaccine could prevent more than 90% of people getting COVID-19.

The RNA vaccine has been developed by pharmaceutical company, Pfizer and BioNTech and is one of the eleven vaccines are being tested in its final stages.

The companies now plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of November - and a limited number of people may get the vaccine this year. 

The UK has already ordered 40 million doses - enough to vaccinate up to 20 million people as each person will need two doses for it to work effectively. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has warned people not to "rely on this news as a solution" as it is still "very, very early days".

Source: BBC News

Professional TV and film production is included in the list of businesses which can remain open in updated Government Guidance (see below)

Clinically extremely vulnerable people in England are being strongly advised not to go to work outside their homes during lockdown from Thursday. 

Under updated government guidance, they should only go out for exercise and to attend health appointment

The legislation for the coming lockdown has been released. Click here

We can't see a specific reference to TV and Film production being required to close as we suspected.  Also it appears that, as with previous legislation, exceptions for work are written within the legislation. 

2 parts are of note:


Reg 17 (6) Regulation 16(1) [16.—(1) A person responsible for carrying on a restricted business, or providing a restricted service, must cease to carry on that business or provide that service. ] does not prevent the use of— (b) any premises used for the making of a film, television programme, audio programme or audio-visual advertisement;

We read that as saying that any business that is shut can open or allow their premises to be used for filming purposes 

And this:

Reg 17  (6) (e) theatres and concert halls for— (i) training, (ii) rehearsal, or (iii) performance without an audience for broadcast or recording purposes;

So that allows use of theatres for the same purposes but the line about no audiences I think may mean no audiences in studios as well.  We advise that productions should take their own legal advice on that point.

The other area is filming in people’s homes (private dwellings) as we know this gets asked a lot

Participation in indoor gatherings

Reg 8.—(1) No person may participate in a gathering which— (a) consists of two or more people, and (b) takes place indoors (including indoors within a private dwelling).

 (2) Paragraph (1) does not apply if any of the exceptions set out in regulation 11 apply.

 Reg 11

Exception 2: gatherings necessary for certain purposes

(3) Exception 2 is that the gathering is reasonably necessary— (a) for work purposes or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services;

 The interpretation of gathering is in Reg 7 and 2(b) reads (2) A gathering takes place when two or more persons are present together in the same place in order— (b) to undertake any other activity with each other. 

Oliver Dowden, Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, tweeted on Saturday evening that TV and Film production can continue.

The Government Guidance so far on the new measures in England are here

Businesses and venues

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect
  • Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals

These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that it part of their normal provision)
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
  • blood donation and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of professional film and TV filming

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods or services, including:

  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences.
  • Petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
  • Outdoor playgrounds