Two metre social distancing rule ‘presents film companies with stumbling block’

Two metre social distancing rule ‘presents film companies with stumbling block’
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The two-metre social distancing guidelines present the film industry with a “stumbling block”, according to a Bafta-winning producer.

Kate Norrish said that the film industry would need “special dispensation” for actors to break the guidelines.

Speaking during an online event titled Screen Talks, Norrish added: “I suppose for us and it seems like everyone I speak to, aside from insurance, the biggest stumbling block is the two metre rule.”

The sector needs to come to an arrangement similar to what football clubs have agreed, she said, whereby people are permitted to come within two metres of each other.

Norrish, who was working on Reggie Yates’s upcoming feature-length film Pirates before the pandemic struck, added: “Health and safety is something us as producers manage day in, day out.”

She added that the protocols do not present “insurmountable” problems in other areas of film production.

However there needs to be “special dispensation” or a rule allowing actors to break social distancing guidelines for periods of up to 15 minutes if they are to resume work properly, she said.

A comprehensive review has been launched into the two-metre rule by the Government, including looking at European countries which have smaller distances as part of their coronavirus restrictions.

New production guidelines were issued by the British Film Commission earlier this month for film and high-end TV drama.

Measures included in the guidelines are daily symptom checks for cast and crew and a ban on stars being driven to sets in chauffeur-driven cars.

Actors are also being encouraged to avoid performing face-to-face if social distancing is not possible.

The film and TV industry has been devastated by the global pandemic, with productions all over the world suspended, putting thousands of people out of work.

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