Essential employees of select sporting, film, and television productions will be exempt from quarantine when entering the UK this year, it has been announced.
The Culture Secretary said the changes to the rules will be limited to those essential to staging the events, such as sports stars, actors and actresses, production staff, event officials, coaches, medics, and mechanics, as well as incoming members of the media.
But sporting authorities, event organisers and the screen industry will “need to follow” public health guidance and put in place “stringent protocols” to ensure that they have a minimal impact on public health, he said.
This includes, for example, living and working in controlled “bubbled” environments behind closed doors for 14 days, which includes only their place of accommodation and production location.
So far, the selected events include the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, international cricket events, Champions League and Europa League football, the PGA British Masters Championship and the World Snooker Championships, as well as film and television productions which qualify as British under one of the government’s cultural tests or official co-production treaties.
Major darts, horse racing and other sporting events, meanwhile, are expected to follow.
Welcoming the announcement, Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, said: “While the British Film Commission COVID-19 production guidance published last month is already helping to restart production safely, this considered exemption will allow international cast and crew back in the country, and back on set, to continue work on the blockbuster films and high-end TV productions at our biggest studio facilities.”
Samantha Randall, an Employment Law expert at Palmers said: “The Government announcement will help to provide clarity for workers involved in the restart of sporting events, television production and films. For more information about safely returning to sporting and recreational places of work, please click here.
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