1. Will the vaccine give me COVID?

The short answer is “no”. That’s because the vaccines approved for use so far in Australia and elsewhere don’t contain live COVID virus.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine contains an artificially generated portion of viral mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid). This carries the specific genetic instructions for your body to make the coronavirus’s “spike protein”, against which your body mounts a protective immune response.

The AstraZeneca vaccine uses a different technology. It packages viral DNA into a viral vector “carrier” based on a chimpanzee adenovirus. When this is delivered into your arm, the DNA prompts your body to produce the spike protein, again stimulating an immune response.

Any vaccine side-effects, such as fever or feeling fatigued, are usually mild and temporary. These are signs the vaccines are working to boost your immune system, rather than signs of COVID itself. These symptoms are also common after routine vaccines.

2. Will the COVID vaccine make me test positive?

No, a COVID vaccine will not affect the results of a diagnostic COVID test.

The current gold-standard diagnostic test is known as nucleic acid PCR testing. This looks for the mRNA (genetic material) of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This is a marker of current infection.

This is the test the vast majority of people have when they line up at a drive-through testing clinic, or attend a COVID clinic at their local hospital.

Yes, the Pfizer vaccine contains mRNA. But the mRNA it uses is only a small part of the entire viral RNA. It also cannot make copies of itself, which would be needed for it to be in sufficient quantity to be detected. So it cannot be detected by a PCR test. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine also only contains part of the DNA but is inserted in an adenovirus carrier that cannot replicate so cannot give you infection or a positive PCR test.

3. How about antibody testing?

While PCR testing is used to look for current infection, antibody testing — also known as serology testing — picks up past infections.

Laboratories look to see if your immune system has raised antibodies against the coronavirus, a sign your body has been exposed to it. As it takes time for antibodies to develop, testing positive with an antibody test may indicate you were infected weeks or months ago.

But your body also produces antibodies as a response to vaccination. That’s the way it can recognise SARS-CoV-2, the next time it meets it, to protect you from severe COVID.

So as COVID vaccines are rolled out, and people develop a vaccine-induced antibody response, it may become difficult to differentiate between someone who has had COVID in the past and someone who was vaccinated a month ago. But this will depend on the serology test used.

The good news is that antibody testing is not nearly as common as PCR testing. And it’s only ordered under limited and rare circumstances.

For instance, when someone tests positive with PCR, but they are a false positive due to the characteristics of the test, or have fragments of virus lingering in the respiratory tract from an old infection, public health experts might request an antibody test to see whether that person was infected in the past. They might also order an antibody test during contact tracing of cases with an unknown source of infection.

4. If I get vaccinated, do I still need a COVID test if I have symptoms?

Yes, we will continue to test for COVID as long as the virus is circulating anywhere in the world.

Even though the COVID vaccines are looking promising in preventing people from getting seriously sick or dying, they won’t provide 100% protection. 

Real-world data suggests some vaccinated people can still catch the virus, but they usually only get mild disease. We are unsure whether vaccinated people will be able to potentially pass it to others, even if they don’t have any symptoms. So it’s important people continue to get tested.

Furthermore, not everyone will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. For instance, in Australia, current guidelines exclude people under 16 years of age, and those who are allergic to ingredients in the vaccine. And although pregnant women are not ruled out from receiving the vaccine, it is not routinely recommended. This means a proportion of the population will remain susceptible to catching the virus.

We also are unsure about how effective vaccines will be against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. So we will continue to test to ensure people are not infected with these strains.

We know testing, detecting new cases early and contact tracing are the core components of the public health response to COVID, and will continue to be a priority from a public health perspective.

Minimum numbers of daily COVID tests are also needed so we can be confident the virus is not circulating in the community. As an example, New South Wales aims for 8,000 or more tests a day to maintain this peace of mind.

Continued vigilance and high rates of testing for COVID will also be important as we enter the flu season. That’s because the only way to differentiate between COVID and influenza (or any other respiratory infection) is via testing.

5. Will testing for COVID stop as time goes on?

It is unlikely our approach to COVID testing will change in the immediate future. However, as COVID vaccines are rolled out and since COVID is likely to become endemic and stay with us for a long time, the acute response phase to the pandemic will end. 

So COVID testing may become part of managing other infectious diseases and part of how we respond to other ongoing health priorities.

Credit :


(NHS – website)


 If you have an NHS Test and Trace of a positive test result…

Your isolation period starts immediately from when your symptoms started, or, if you do not have any symptoms, from when your test was taken. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if you did not have symptoms but your first positive COVID-19 test was taken on the 15th), your isolation period ends at 23:59 hrs on the 25th.


  • people with symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19, including those who are waiting for a test
  • people who have received a positive COVID-19 test result (whether or not they have symptoms)
  • people who currently live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms, or with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19


  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, even if your symptoms are mild, stay at home and arrange to have a test.

We will ask you:

  • if you have family members or other household members living with you. In line with the medical advice they must remain in self-isolation for the rest of the 10-day period from when your symptoms began
  • if you have had any close contact with anyone other than members of your household. We are interested in in the 48 hours before you developed symptoms and the time since you developed symptoms. Close contact means:
  • having face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (this will include times where you have worn a face covering or a face mask)
  • having been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane
  • if you work in – or have recently visited – a setting with other people (for example, a GP surgery, a school or a workplace). The use of face masks and other forms PPE does not exclude somebody from being considered a close contact, unless they are providing direct care with patients or residents in a health and care setting

We will ask you to provide, where possible, the names and contact details (for example, email address, telephone number) for the people you have had close contact with. As with your own details these will be held in strict confidence and will be kept and used only in line with data protection laws.

If NHS Test and Trace identify you as a contact and you work in a critical service where the recommendation for you to self-isolate would have impact on providing that critical service, your employer will need to escalate this to the local health protection team (HPT) for a risk-assessment.


What are the different types of testing available?

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing is the most sensitive test that is currently available, it is able to detect active infection some days before the patient is infectious or symptomatic. it looks for genetic material from the virus and is generally a more sensitive test than others available.

It is seen as ‘the gold standard’ these, and used in the NHS daily. PCR testing has a turnaround time of up to 48 hours. It is performed in machines that cycle through different temperatures. As the process of changing temperature takes some time, the process is longer than other processes such as LAMP.

LAMP Testing is another form of genetic test, able to detect the RNA of the virus. It is a more recent development than PCR and is performed all at one temperature. It is generally faster and cheaper than PCR but is not considered to be as sensitive – but is still more sensitive than antigen testing. LAMP tests might be able to detect patients immediately before symptoms are displayed but this is unsure at present. Rapid LAMP testing can add a significant degree of confidence if performed before flying, for example, when all aboard have had a LAMP test prior to departure.

Antigen Testing is the fastest and cheapest of all lab tests for COVID-19. Unlike PCR and LAMP, the genetic material of the virus is not searched for, but rather the protein structures on a virally infected cell produced by COVID-19; usually the so-called ‘spike’ protein. Antigen tests often become positive after having had symptoms for a couple of days. Their use is particularly powerful when patients are attending communal events and a quick check needs to be performed to see if attendees are infectious with COVID-19. Furthermore, during winter months, when people often have symptoms of the common cold or flu, performing an antigen test will ascertain whether the condition is the coronavirus or not.

Antibody tests: When we get infected with COVID-19, our bodies make antibodies to fight the infection. The antibody test looks for the presence of these antibodies, which usually mean that we have been infected with COVID-19 in the past. This test uses a finger-prick blood test.

Read on if you want more science info…

PCR test

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, is the most common form of testing in the UK and is seen as fairly reliable. A swab is taken from the back of the throat or the very top of the nostrils. Both are highly uncomfortable. The sample is sent to a laboratory to detect genetic material in the virus called RNA (the nucleic acid that converts DNA into proteins). RNA is collected as it carries the genetic information of coronavirus.

It is a time-consuming process involving a solution (aka reagent) which is added to the sample and then processed through various temperature steps in a thermal cycler so that it multiplies into larger quantities of DNA. Bioscientists can then see whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) is present.

It takes around 12 hours which is why results take so long to be issued.

LAMP testing

“LAMP” (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) tests uses a swab to collect material from the throat and nose but this is not processed in a thermal cycler. It produces many more viral RNA copies without the need to heat and cool – a constant temperature is used.

The samples are then placed in vials of reagents (substances that produce a chemical reaction to detect the RNA), then heated in a special machine for 20 minutes. The sample is analysed to confirm the presence or not of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

What are the limitations to LAMP Testing ?

LAMP is less versatile than PCR, the most familiar nucleic acid amplification technique. LAMP is useful primarily as a diagnostic or detection technique, but is not useful for cloning or many other molecular biology applications enabled by PCR. Because LAMP uses 4 (or 6) primers targeting 6 (or 8) regions within a fairly small segment of the genome, and because primer design is subject to numerous constraints, it is difficult to design primer sets for LAMP “by eye”. (Wiki)

What is an Antibody test?

Antibody tests are used to detect antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if it’s likely that you have had the virus before.

The test works by taking a blood sample  and testing for the presence of antibodies to see if you have developed an immune response to the virus.

Antibody tests differ to virus swab tests, which test to see if you currently have the virus. An antibody test cannot test if you currently have the virus.

There is no strong evidence yet to suggest that those who have had the virus develop long-lasting immunity that would prevent them from getting the virus again. (source GOV.UK)

What is a Lateral Flow test?

Lateral flow is an established technology, adapted to detect proteins (antigens) that are present when a person has COVID-19. The best-known example of a lateral flow test is the home pregnancy test kit.

The test kit is a hand-held device with an absorbent pad at one end and a reading window at the other. Inside the device is a strip of test paper that changes colour in the presence of COVID-19 proteins (antigens).

How to take the Test

Taking a lateral flow test usually involves taking a sample from the back of the throat near the tonsils and from the nose, using a swab.

The swab is dipped into an extraction solution. This is then dripped on to the device’s paper pad, producing the reaction that gives the result.

The result will be visible on the device precisely 30 minutes after the sample is applied. Unlike a PCR test, there is no need to send the sample to a lab.

What a Lateral Flow test cannot tell you.

  • if you’re immune to coronavirus
  • if you can or cannot spread the virus to other people

There is a different test to check if you have coronavirus now.

Whatever your antibody test result, you must continue to follow the same guidelines as everyone else to protect yourself and others from the virus.

How sensitive are the Lateral Flow & PCR tests?

PCR and lateral flow have different roles to play in controlling the virus, so it isn’t helpful to directly compare them in terms of how sensitive they are:

  • Lateral flow is useful for finding out if a person is infectious now, and able to transmit the virus to others. The level of sensitivity is high enough to detect the vast majority of these cases. Lateral flow testing is less likely to return a positive result outside the infectious window.
  • PCR is useful for confirming a suspected case of coronavirus, where the person is already self-isolating and is showing symptoms. Higher sensitivity of PCR means it can identify genetic material from COVID-19 even after the active infection has passed.

The different levels of sensitivity are therefore appropriate for the ways they are used.

How accurate are Covid tests? 

Tests are never 100 per cent accurate, and vary in their “sensitivity” and “specificity”.

Sensitivity means the proportion of carriers of the virus who are correctly identified;

specificity refers to the proportion of non-carriers who are correctly identified.

So 100 per cent sensitivity would mean no false negatives, while 100 per cent specificity means no false positives.

What is the Test to Release scheme for International Travellers ?

From 15 December 2020, international arrivals are able to opt in to ‘Test to Release’.

Test to Release is a scheme to allow travellers to be released from quarantine early after taking a COVID test when they return from a UK Gov RED country (a country not on the travel Corridor list).  The test should be booked before the traveller arrives home and can be carried out at one of the Collinson drive through test centres.  

More info on the scheme can be found here:

By law, all tests used for the purpose of shortening the self-isolation period for international arrivals must meet certain minimum standards.

Providers must also complete a declaration that their tests meet these standards. ( link)

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The first point of contact is Bill Brown, Head of Media Standards, who is responsible for ensuring delivered content meets ITV’s technical delivery standards. Contact or telephone 020 715 66542 or 07917 577 700.


The only acceptable delivery format is an AS-11 UK DPP file.

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Close Contact cohorts protocol

Close Contact Cohorts and increased screening for COVID-19 – protocol for TV production


1. This document builds on the industry wide guidelines (TV Production Guidance Managing The Risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Production Making) which outline a high-level framework for the effective assessment and management of Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk in TV production.

General comments

  1. The guidance in this document specifically addresses an approach to support the resumption of production activity which unavoidably requires interaction within the current social distancing boundary. It sets out arrangements whereby pairs and/or small groups of people would be able to interact in much closer contact. This approach is only appropriate where all other mitigation measures are not feasible, and remains in addition, rather than a replacement for, the rigorous wider risk mitigation and hygiene measures that are set out in the broader guidance.
  1. While this protocol currently applies to England and NI, and will apply in Scotland from 30 July, you should always consider whether there are local restrictions in place in your area or advice in place at the time, issued by the respective Governments, public health and health and safety authorities in the relevant jurisdiction in which the production is taking place. If so, you should first read the guidance relevant to your area as this may supersede guidance in this document.
  1. This document considers how the establishment of close contact cohorts (CCCs) supported by increased screening for this group, through the establishment of routine of PCR testing (hereafter “PCR tests”), may be introduced as a key element of a risk mitigation plan. This protocol represents recommended minimum practice but other factors may dictate an enhanced level of provision. The CCC mirrors the concept of ‘fixed teams’ in the British Film Commission’s Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production.
  1. It is important to make clear this document provides guidance for how a CCC regime can be used as part of the wider risk assessments and safety measures that will need to be in place. It provides a framework for how to mitigate the risk where small numbers of people, a cohort, will need to breach the prevailing social distancing measures within the course of their work, through additional cohort screening. A cohort will be as small a number of people as possible who unavoidably need to be in close contact with each other. This can include both cast and crew, depending on the nature of the production.


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The screening regime proposed will decrease the likelihood that someone with the virus will be within the cohort. This testing would be on a regular basis (weekly) alongside other daily screening routine checks for symptoms etc. This approach offers a reasonable and sensible level of risk mitigation but it cannot eliminate risk.

  1. This mitigation process is different from the concept of creating a COVID-free ‘bubble’ which this guidance does not specifically address. The bubble relies upon more stringent testing and quarantine to be applied prior to entering the, very controlled, bubble environment. The bubble approach would only be appropriate where the risk of COVID needs to be controlled to an exceptionally low level due to significant vulnerabilities of others within the bubble or other commercial reasons that could impact production delivery significantly.
  1. This protocol outlines
    • ○  Key principles
    • ○  Testing provision
    • ○  The process

Prior to arrival on Production
During Production
Screening tests during production Positive test results

○ Adopting the principles of socially distancing whilst working within close contact cohorts

Key principles

8. The following key principles should be considered to establish if the CCC approach would be an appropriate risk mitigation.

  1. a)  This approach should only be considered when all other mitigations have been considered and discounted as appropriate for the situation including adapting editorial onscreen requirements.
  2. b)  Close contact periods must be restricted to the shortest time practicable.
  3. c)  Expert H&S and Medical advice will need to be sought before a CCC approach is implemented and the rationale must be set out in a detailed risk assessment.
  4. d)  Each CCC of individuals must be kept to the absolute minimum number of members possible. Members should, as far as possible on set, only mix with other members of the same cohort.
  5. e)  A number of CCCs may be established on a single production dependent upon the interaction requirements of cast overall.
  6. f)  Mixing or swapping between CCC should be kept to an absolute minimum. Someone can only be a member of one CCC at any one time and if someone wants to move from one CCC to another the full process for joining a CCC has to be adhered to.


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  1. g)  Consultation with those involved throughout the process of setting up these close contact cohorts is of paramount importance; individuals should clearly understand the situation and the effectiveness/limitations of the risk mitigations being introduced and where possible any requirements in relation to CCCs should be established at the casting stage. Productions should consider engaging with union representatives of those in the CCC to ensure that the implications of working in close contact cohorts are well understood.
  1. h)  CCC members should be easily identifiable as a member of a specific close contact cohort (e.g. colour coding groups).
  1. i)  All social distancing and other risk mitigations must be complied with by cohort members when not engaged in the specific interaction required for the production.
  1. j)  Any members of a proposed CCC or their household members (including if CCC members have caring responsibilities) who have COVID-19 vulnerabilities should be identified prior to production and appropriate adjustments made, with input from suitable experts if required to help further mitigate the risk to vulnerable groups.
  1. k)  Consideration should be given to the levels of social contact outside the production for members of a CCC and any limitations to this that may be considered appropriate, these should form part of the consultation with those involved. As a minimum members of CCCs should adhere to the wider government guidance that is in place at the time – particularly in relation to social distancing – but productions may want to review on a case by case basis and put bespoke measures in place if appropriate
  1. l)  Consideration should be given to how you quantify and record exposure of members of the CCC to each other – so accurate records of those who have worked in close proximity are readily available.

Testing provision

9. The appropriate testing for this purpose is a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. These tests are commonly referred to as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Swab samples taken from the nose and back of the throat or saliva samples are examined to look for the presence of genetic material from the virus. Samples (particularly swabs) should be collected by a trained operator; analysis is undertaken in an accredited laboratory. A positive test shows that the person being tested has a current, COVID-19 virus infection. The test can take from less than an hour to several days to get a result.

  • ○  For accuracy and an effective result testing/ sampling should be completed by a trained operator in line with approved methodologies and sent to an accredited laboratory.
  • ○  Suitable consent will need to be sought from the individual to undertake the test.


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○ Test results will need to be handled and managed in line with good medical practice and data privacy regulation

10.A flow chart that provides overview of the process is attached as appendix 1.

The process

Prior to arrival on Production

11.Prior to arriving on set those who are part of a CCC group will undertake a PCR test.

12.The PCR testing should be undertaken so that the time between sampling and entering the CCC is as short as is practicable. With current testing provision that will generally mean approximately 48 hours before arriving on set but that may vary depending on testing availability and timings of test

results. The result of the test must be available before CCC entry and a positive result will preclude entry.

13.CCC members will be asked to adhere to social distancing requirements during the time between their test sample being taken and their arrival on set following their test result in line with the prevailing government guidance in place at the time.

14.CCC members should all confirm;

  1. they and their household members are COVID symptom free
  2. there is no reason why they should be isolating (e.g. recent closecontact with people positive with the virus or displaying symptoms)

15.If their pre-production test is positive CCC members will need to inform the relevant test and trace official body and self-isolate for at least 7 days from when symptoms started (if symptoms are displayed). Anyone who has a positive test but does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days and follow any other up to date guidance from test and trace.

16.In line with all those working on the production all other risk mitigation measures should be followed, such as those applying to travel and accommodation. All standard daily screening measures should also be adhered to.

During Production

17.If a member of a CCC displays any of the symptoms of COVID-19 at any time during the production all members of the CCC will need to self-isolate and be tested.

18.The process for a positive test result should be followed as outlined in the section below.page4image293906880

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19.However if a cohort member displays symptoms and then tests negative, they should wait until they are symptom free before returning to production.

20.If cohort members who are symptom free (but are isolating having taken a test because another member of the cohort does have symptoms) test negative, they can return to production provided they do not develop symptoms.

Screening tests during production

21.A regular testing programme should be introduced for the duration of each CCC. This will increase the chances of identifying infected people who are either pre-symptomatic (before symptoms start) or asymptomatic (no symptoms) and therefore limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission to others in their CCC.

  1. a)  As standard this would be a minimum of weekly. Risk assessment of an individual or the production may indicate that more regular testing of the cohort is appropriate
  1. b)  The test would normally be undertaken at the production location but that is not necessary if testing can be done competently and more conveniently elsewhere.
  1. c)  As testing is part of the regular screening programme there would be no need for an individual to isolate in the time period between a routine test and receiving the results (as long as they remain COVID-19 symptom free during this period).

Positive test results
22.All members of that CCC must self-isolate for 10/14 days and be symptom free

before they can recommence activity on production, in line with government requirements.

23.Testing does not need to continue during a 10/14-day self-isolation period although all CCC members will be asked to undertake a new test before re- joining the CCC as if they were entering the CCC for the first time.

24.In the event of a positive test for a member of a CCC, appropriate health advice should normally be sought by the Production to investigate the precise circumstances and provide expert guidance.

25.Consideration should be given to circumstances where a CCC member tests positive, completes self-isolation and is symptom free but continues to test positive. Government guidance permits a return to work but people may continue to test positive for as much as 60 days after infection. Advice from an appropriate health professional/ virologist should be sought in such circumstances.page5image349726816

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Adopting the principles of socially distancing whilst working within CCCs

26.Whilst those within these groups are not being asked to isolate there is an expectation that they will, in good faith, maintain the key principles of social distancing throughout their daily life during the filming period;

  • ○  stay at home as much as possible
  • ○  limit contact with other people
  • ○  maintain social distancing when outside the home
  • ○  wash their hands regularly
  • ○  make productions aware of any particular risk that their householdmembers are exposed to27.As a minimum CCC members will be required to adhere to the prevailing Government guidelines, but assessments can be made on a case by case basis to determine whether further measures may be appropriate.

Source : BBC Downloads

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Appendix 1page7image1141044224

ITV Covid Guidelines – Close Contact Cohorts and increased screening for COVID-19 – protocol for TV production 13/07/20


It sets out arrangements whereby pairs and/or small groups of people would be able to interact in much closer contact. 

This approach is only appropriate where all other mitigation measures are not feasible, and remains in addition, rather than a replacement for, the rigorous wider risk mitigation and hygiene measures that are set out in the broader guidance.

Risk Mitigation – close contact cohorts (CCCs)

The establishment of close contact cohorts (CCCs) supported by increased screening for this group, through the establishment of routine of PCR testing (hereafter “PCR tests”), may be introduced as a key element of a risk mitigation plan.

Risk Mitigation – weekly testing

The screening regime proposed will decrease the likelihood that someone with the virus will be within the cohort.

This testing would be on a regular basis (weekly) alongside other daily screening routine checks for symptoms etc. 

This approach offers a reasonable and sensible level of risk mitigation but it cannot eliminate risk.

These tests are commonly referred to as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests – Suitable consent will need to be sought from the individual to undertake the test.

With current testing provision that will generally mean approximately 48 hours pre-entering set

Risk Mitigation – Social Distancing

CCC members will be asked to adhere to social distancing requirements during the time between their test sample being taken and their arrival on set following their test result in line with the prevailing government guidance in place at the time.

Note; The CCC mirrors the concept of ‘fixed teams’ in the British Film Commission’s Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High- end TV Drama Production.

A cohort will be as small a number of people as possible who unavoidably need to be in close contact with each other. 

Info : ITV Producers guidelines

COVID RA Guidance

UK Broadcast Covid Information 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Risk Assessment Guidance – Basic requirements

1. Specifically consider people at higher risk of harm 

is anyone ‘clinically vulnerable’? – Do they require a personalised risk assessment ?

2. Heighten precautions for everyone at work

Good practice is to : ‘Wash your hands more frequently and at least for 20 seconds each time. Use soap and water or a hand sanitiser when you: get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food’.

A raised temperature is one of the most common signs of developing COVID-19. If you choose to introduce temperature checks.appropriate protocols will need to be developed and due consideration given to any potential data privacy issues.

Check contact details and emergency details are up to date

Ensure production team are up to date on training, and that this is detailed through the RA process

If someone displays symptoms, they should self isolate, or return home from work. They should order a home test. If they don’t have access to the internet, a test can be ordered by calling 119 (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (in Scotland).

What is close contact ?

Close contact is defined in guidance, accurate at the time of this update guidance, as;

● having face-to-face contact with someone (less than 1 metre away)

● spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone

● travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane

Additional requirements in the event of multiple outbreaks in the workplace

If you have more than one case of COVID-19 in the workplace, you should contact your local health protection team to report the suspected outbreak (find your local team through –

3. Reduce the number of people involved

This is a key control to managing the risk and should be considered before a more detailed risk assessment, key considerations should be;

● Minimise workers needed on site to complete the work activity.

● Maximise technology to enable roles and activities to be done from home and remotely wherever possible.

● Segregate people within the working area to minimise close contact and maintain

social distancing as far as possible.

4. Consider editorial ‘on camera’ requirements 

A key risk to consider is how the creative and editorial requirements of the production are met and agreed with Commissioning Networks within the parameters of the current restrictions. Key considerations should be;

Changes to script and scenes to take into account social distancing.

● Changes to set to take into account social distancing.

● Use of ‘green screens’ to ‘down the line’ to support minimising numbers on production.

● Scripts should be provided as early as possible to support with planning.

● Directors and other relevant roles may need to be brought on earlier in the planning and prep for production to establish what is required to deliver the production within the restrictions of managing the COVID-19 risk.

5. Consider mental health and wellbeing

Those having to work from home may experience social isolation while those having to come to a studio or location may be fearful of the risk of becoming infected. It is therefore essential that overall wellbeing and mental health are considered within the risk assessment for production and that those responsible understand the wellbeing needs and requirements of their teams.

The Film and TV Charity is committed to supporting the film and TV workforce in returning to production after COVID-19 and provides many useful resources for production along with support routes for the workforce.

6. Feedback loop

It is important to ensure there that production teams are reporting any shortfalls (and successes/learnings) to ensure the risk assessment process is effective and actively reviewed.

On a production basis it is important to have a clear procedure for raising concerns, you should also consider if an explicit commitment that no one will be sanctioned for refusing to work in an unsafe environment would support people in raising concerns.

Credit : BBC. ITV, Production Guild


Sian is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is fast and efficient. She thinks proactively and is always coming up with new solutions to problems. She cares about her job and has a lovely manner. I have very much enjoyed working with her as we set up this big, new entertainment show”.

– Antonia Hurford Jones (Executive Producer)

Television Production & Creative Services