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ScreenSafe has released location recce guidance after discussions with WorkSafe and Screen Auckland, and based on recommended guidelines from the Ministry of Health regarding limits on social gatherings in public places.

These guidelines are for a location recce in an uncontrolled public space. You will need to adhere to the social gathering limit applicable to the alert level in your region. If you cannot limit your recce numbers to the limits, you will need to apply for a council permit, with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

Read the full location recce guidance

5th October 2021

Please find the links below and pdf’s attached to the revised ScreenSafe COVID-19 Protocols, including a cover letter outlining the key updates, revised departmental roles and alert levels.

As you have seen from recent events, government guidelines, both for private and business situations, will continue to change as we adapt to a life with a mostly vaccinated population. However, the ScreenSafe Protocols remains a strong and vital source for best practice screen work during this pandemic. They have been through both NZFC and peer review, and should be followed for all screen industry work.

In regards to yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister – like us, you might have found it more confusing than enlightening, as it spoke more to personal situations than controlled work sites, and did not yet contain clear timeframes with practical relevance to the screen industry.

However, it referred to Phases 1-3 within the current Alert Level 3, and in the past we’ve been considered alongside Hairdressing, Hospitality and other close contact work which looks like it may be allowed at Phase 3. We have reached out to WorkSafe for additional clarity around Phases 2 and 3 – and will pass that on as soon as they get guidance from government.

In the meantime, Auckland and Waikato based productions should continue to follow ScreenSafe Level 3 guidelines, with the key restrictions still being:

  1. No Close Proximity Work
  2. Limited people on set, particularly in confined spaces with limited or poor ventilation.

Finally – this is a great time to get vaccinated if you feel comfortable doing so. It is the best way you can protect yourself, your family and your colleagues.

And it may be the road map for our country and industry to fully open up again. https://bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/

If you have specific questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us or any of your regular safety officers.

Below are the links to the current updates:

ScreenSafe Cover Letter

Updated ScreenSafe COVID H&S Protocols

Updated ScreenSafe Alert Levels

Revised Department Roles

I would like to thank the ScreenSafe COVID Health and Safety team for reviewing these protocols and a special thank you to the New Zealand Film Commission for funding the review.

Ngā mihi,

Kelly Lucas

Executive Officer
Screen Industry Guild Aotearoa New Zealand Inc.
(Previously the NZ Film & Video Technicians’ Guild Inc.)

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 –
https://screensafe.co.nz/covid19/registration/.

Any specific queries or concerns, please reach out to ScreenSafe at info@screenguild.co.nz or your industry organisation.

Ngā mihi,
SCREENSAFE NZ

ScreenSafe banner

2 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 future planning for 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.

Delta / Likely Updates to the Protocols:

As per updated Government guidance – some recommended guidelines are now mandatory / or should be applied in all circumstances, namely:

Face Coverings

Delta is more than twice as transmissible as previous COVID-19 variants. Please ensure mask wearing is in line with government recommendations and is more strictly adhered to. This is likely to also be required at Level 2 in more circumstances than previously.

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

Eg 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 – https://screensafe.co.nz/covid19/registration/.

Any specific queries or concerns, please reach out to ScreenSafe at info@screenguild.co.nz or your industry organisation.

Ngā mihi,
SCREENSAFE NZ

ScreenSafe banner

An update from ScreenSafe:

As of 11:59pm, Sunday 14 February, Auckland has moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2. This will remain in place until at least until 12 midnight, Wednesday 17 February.

All productions need to ensure they are operating to the ScreenSafe COVID-19 Health & Safety Standard & Protocols as they relate to your region and Alert Level. Visit the ScreenSafe COVID-19 page for the full toolkit and information on how to apply the Alert Levels to your production.

Overview:

Face Coverings

Mask wearing or an appropriate face covering is now recommended for on set crew at Alert Levels 2 and 3. Crew who are able to work in isolation (i.e., work from home or in a single office) have more flexibility within the work space.

It is also required when performing close proximity tasks within level 2 and above, i.e. for make-up or hair.

Talent should wear masks when possible/when interacting with crew, although this will not be practical whilst on screen.

Physical Distancing Requirements

Within Alert Level 2, Productions to ensure all persons that are not part of your production bubble, and who enter the worksite, are to maintain 1 metre physical distance with crew members (i.e. filming in public spaces).

Alert Level 3 requires physical distancing between all crew, including talent, and is not conducive to most filming productions.

Travel to/from Auckland

Travel to/from Auckland is only allowed if you are returning to your place of residence OR if you’re an essential worker.
This means a production based outside of Auckland will not be able to travel Auckland crew to a location outside of Auckland until a reduction in Alert Levels.

Physical distancing and mask wearing is required for all domestic flights, trains, ferries, and ride share services like taxi’s and Ubers.

Contact Tracing

All NZ businesses are required to use the NZ COVID Tracer App (or a manual contract tracing log, preferable contactless). This includes all work sites, offices, locations and suppliers.

ScreenSafe Registration

ALL productions, including 1-person shoots, MUST register with ScreenSafe. It only takes 1 minute to do this: https://screensafe.co.nz/covid19/registration/

Numbers on Set

There are no restrictions on the amount of people on a work site. However, each production needs to assess their own requirements vs. the overall need for physical distancing, hygiene and risk to cast, crew and the public.

Talent

Within Alert Level 3, 1m physical distancing is required for all scripted action.

Talent must be able to dress themselves and do their own make up (under the guidance of crew if required).

No extras at Level 3.

Covid-19 Safety Notes

Every work site MUST have a site specific Covid-19 plan in place.

Note: councils will not issue filming permits without a thorough Covid-19 plan + a ScreenSafe registration.

Related Resources

ScreenSafe Level 3 Cheat Sheet – 15 February 2021 (PDF 540KB)