7th September 2021 – SCREEN INDUSTRY DISTRIBUTION
Kia ora koutou katoa to all in the Screen Industry, hoping you are all staying safe in your bubbles!
Please note the ScreenSafe COVID-19 Health and Safety team is currently looking at what Protocols need to be reviewed, particularly in light of the new Delta variant.
For now, please refer to the ScreenSafe website – https://screensafe.co.nz/covid-19-coronavirus/ – particularly the Protocols and Summary Guidelines around L4, L3, and Level 2.
These are still a really great guide for what is allowed at each level.
You can download today’s update in PDF here.
For the avoidance of doubt, please note the following:
Level 4: NO filming is possible/other than registered news organisations and essential programming.
Level 3: Very limited production activities may be possible. Please carefully assess whether your activities can be postponed to L2. If not, please carefully assess each action and whether it complies with the guidelines and works to minimise risk at all points.
The key issue to consider for Level 3 is physical distancing. For instance – location scouting, with appropriate PPE, and in controlled circumstances, can be undertaken – depending on the ability to minimise contact / risk / avoidance of breaking bubbles.
Any activity needs to be able to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. This limits both prep and filming activities – e.g. close contact between crew such as a camera team who cannot be physically distanced, or performers and makeup/hair. Please see L3 guidance for full details.
Yesterday the government made some more changes to the COVID-19 rules. The below changes will be reflected in the updated Protocols, but since we know a lot of you are preparing for filming in Level 2, the below will hopefully answer your most pressing questions for Level 2 filming.
Level 2 / Mask Wearing
Mask wearing is now mandatory for anyone aged 12+ in indoor public places like shops, malls and public spaces: https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/alert-level-2/#work-and-business.
For screen work, ScreenSafe highly recommends mask wearing at Level 2. And some productions may require it.
Level 2 / Restrictions on Gatherings
Gatherings (social gatherings, concerts, hospitality businesses, etc.) are now restricted to 50 people for indoor venues and 100 for outdoor venues.
However, work sites like film productions do NOT adhere to number restrictions, PROVIDED they are a working in a fully controlled environment (with contact tracing and health questionnaire for everyone on site, and with all necessary hygiene and PPE measures in place).
Note: Due to the aggressive nature of the Delta virus, productions are advised to take careful consideration before filming with extras and/or large crew numbers during Level 2.
Level 2 / Physical Distancing in Public Spaces
Physical distancing in public places, e.g. retail stores, libraries, gyms and museums will be 2 metres.
However, for work sites like film productions the physical distancing requirement is still 1 metre, PROVIDED they are a working in a fully controlled environment (with contact tracing and health questionnaire for everyone on site, and with all necessary hygiene and PPE measures in place).
Note: Close Proximity work (work within 0-1 metres) like hair and make up are still allowed for, and for screen work is specifically addressed in the Close Proximity Environment sections of the Screen Industry COVID-19 Protocols.
Travel Out of Auckland – Current
While Auckland remains in a higher COVID level to the rest of the country, essential workers traveling out of the Auckland region will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from the last week. Note: Only news and media outlets are classified as essential work, so for most of Auckland screen workers regional travel is not allowed until Auckland is in Level 2.
Delta / Other Likely Updates to the Protocols:
As per the updated Government guidance – some recommended guidelines are now mandatory or should be applied in all circumstances, namely:
Check-In/Contact Tracing – while everyone seemed to be doing well on this before, it is now mandatory in all circumstances for all sites, so ensure this is very closely adhered to.
Risk Minimisation – e.g. Hygiene Procedures, Airflow, Contact Minimisation. Look to assess your pre-production, shooting (when allowed), and post production, around how you can increase hygiene and minimise contact. From wearing PPE, to limiting numbers and increasing airflow. These are all our tools to help minimise the risk of exposure and spread.
Testing/Vaccinations/Privacy & Health Concerns – our revision is also likely to contain further guidance in this area. Until clarification is provided, please follow current MBIE guidance and ensure that human rights and privacy rights are respected at all times.
Registration with ScreenSafe – please also ensure every production continues to register with ScreenSafe –
Any specific queries or concerns, please reach out to ScreenSafe at firstname.lastname@example.org or your industry organisation.