The Breaking News which you may already have heard is that part of our sector is amongst those allowed to return to work from 1 May, falling into the Level 4 category of the 5 levels which guide which sectors will be allowed to resume activity. The four criteria considered for each sector and, in some cases, not just a sector nationally but in a specific region, are:Risk of transmission (including the ease of implementing mitigation measures).
Risk of transmission (including the ease of implementing mitigation measures).
- Expected impact on the sector of continued lockdown (including prior vulnerability).
- Value of the sector to the economy (e.g. contribution to GDP, multiplier effects, export earnings).
- Community well-being
On the one hand this is good news because it allows us to get back to work and for thousands of our cast and crew to earn a living. On the other hand, we know that sets are far from ideal places to maintain social distancing and other health and safety practices which puts people at risk. These are all incredibly difficult, perhaps impossible choices to make – but somehow we must make them.
We also want to avoid a situation, regardless of level, where individuals must choose between not earning a living or going back to a set without proper safety protocols and resources in place. We are engaging with broadcasters to supplement budgets to ensure we can do everything that is practicable.
Questions remain, however, about the sector being at level 4 whilst several metros remain at level 5. We will engage regionally on this issue for clarity before all of us city slickers rush back to work. We also urgently need clarity on the description below about exactly what is allowed – does this only refer to TV content, what about film, what about international servicing?
G. Media and entertainment services
1. Online services;
2. Productions for local broadcast, and live streaming in support of COVID-19 subject to directions; and
3. Newspapers and broadcasting
We are required to make submissions on this and the requisite protocols by Monday 27 April at noon, so we are spending the Freedom Day weekend working on securing our sector’s freedom. Our topmost priority is to do whatever it takes to ensure the health and well-being of the sector and the people in it. There is a large team working on this, with input from other producers, completion bonders and co-ordination with SASFED.
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