Advice & Information about Covid-19
Last updated: 11th November 2020.
We understand these are challenging and uncertain times and urge you to contact us if you have specific concerns, including gaps in support provisions announced to date across the UK. We will collate these and feed them into our on-going discussions with BFI, ACW, Welsh Government, broadcasters and others, helping to shape the collective response, advice and support packages.
For immediate health concerns please see NHS Direct Wales.
General Advice & Support
- Welsh Government has announced a national coronavirus fire-break lockdown to start at 6pm on Friday 23rd October and end on Monday 9th November.
- The BFI have useful advice and guidance, including a recovery plan for the sector.
- The Film & TV Charity have launched an online community platform that supports mental wellbeing. It's accessible and free for everyone who works in the industry 24/7.
- The Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency and Addiction also offers free substance abuse support services.
- The NHS COVID-19 app for Wales and England can be downloaded here. It is additional and complementary to the existing Welsh Government test, trace and protect measures, and businesses, including cinemas, should continue to collect and hold current contact data on their customers (for 21 days from their visit) and employees. We would similarly advise that production companies and education practitioners collect and hold current contact data on their cast, crew and those they work with.
Ffilm Cymru Support
We put in place a ‘Pivot Plan’ team, made up of Board and senior management, who are shaping our response and how we redeploy funds. Importantly, this group considers any available data and feedback – from insights from online meetings with professionals from across the sector, to rapid research being undertaken by the BFI research unit and line-feedback from colleagues across the UK who are similarly implementing programmes of support.
Ffilm Cymru announced a support package worth £530,000 for the Welsh film sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, including:
- An Emergency Relief Fund for writers, directors, producers & film education practitioners experiencing financial hardship.
- An accelerated Development Fund for creative teams developing feature film projects
- An increased Horizons Fund to support emerging talent, and additional funds to support business innovation.
- New Change Award loans for Wales-based film production companies.
- Adapted operations to support film exhibitors in these challenging times, including accelerating payments to cinemas to swiftly meet their immediate needs, and advancing funds to film festivals & pop-up providers.
Training & Networking
We have redesigned training and commissioning strands to take them online and are hosting online meet-ups and sharing resources that may be helpful to filmmakers, exhibitors and film education practitioners.
Throughout the pandemic, we have been advocating for support for the Welsh film industry - for people that have not been able to access job retention or support schemes, for support for independent cinemas, and for UK government to address Covid-19 exclusions in insurance policies. We have done this through participating in taskforces, as well as giving evidence to UK and Welsh Government committees and inquiries.
Welsh Government Cultural Recovery Fund
- Welsh Government have announced an additional £10 million made available for arts and culture in Wales. The funding includes a third phase of theirl Freelancer Fund, which will see a further £3.5 million being made available nationwide across all local authority areas from 10am on Monday 23 November to freelancers in the creative sector.
- From Wednesday 16th September, organisations in the culture and heritage sector can apply for financial support from the Welsh Government’s £53 million Cultural Recovery Fund.
- Organisations in the culture and heritage sector, including independent cinemas, can find out if they are eligible to apply for financial support from the Welsh Government’s £53 million Cultural Recovery Fund here.
UK Government Support
- £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s cultural, arts and heritage institutions.
- UK Government has also announced the rate of VAT applied on tourism and hospitality-related activities, including cinemas, will be cut from 20% to 5%.
- £500 million scheme to kickstart film and television production struggling to secure insurance for Covid-related costs.
- UK Government has extended Furlough to March and increased self-employed support.
- Furlough Scheme Extended and Further Economic Support announced.
- The Film and TV Production Restart Scheme helps film and TV shows struggling to get insurance for Covid-related risks to get back into production.
- The Job Support Scheme has been expanded to firms required to close due to Covid Restrictions
- Support for Businesses, the Self-employed and Sole Traders.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
- Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Guidance for Filmmakers
- Welsh Government has confirmed that filming can continue in Wales during the two week fire break period, providing related activity cannot be undertaken from home, and there is full compliance with the regulations. A hotel which is closed can still provide specific services at the request of the Welsh Government or a Local Authority. Welsh Government authorises that a hotel or other self-service rented accommodation may host any worker associated with a film and TV production during this fire break period, who cannot reasonably stay at their home address whilst carrying out their duties. Accommodation that is authorised to open for this purpose will be required to take all reasonable measures minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus; including providing any food and refreshments as room service only.
- British Film Commission guidance on Covid-19 safety protocols for the production of film and high-end TV.
- Guidance for Safe Working in Post-Production and VFX during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Welsh Government guidance for a phased return of Creative Industries.
- Welsh Government guidance for working in other people’s homes.
- BECTU Film & TV recovery plan.
- ScreenSkills TV Skills Fund masterclasses on working safely during Covid.
Guidance for Exhibitors
- Welsh Government guidance for organisations and individuals in Wales who manage culture and heritage destinations and venues that are open to the public.
- Following the Wales 'firebreak' lockdown, from 9th November cinemas are allowed to be open, subject to following the social distancing rules. No alcohol can be served in any of these venues between 10pm and 6am, and where premises have a licence to sell alcohol they will have to close at 10.20pm (other than cinemas, which can remain open for the completion of films which commenced before 10.00pm).
- Face coverings: Welsh Government guidance on measures to be taken by employers and managers of premises.
- Test, Trace, Protect: Welsh Government guidance on keeping records of staff, customers, and visitors.
- UK Cinema Association Covid-19 guidance for cinemas.
- UK Cinema Association and ScreenSkills online learning module and assessment test around Covid-19 for people working in cinema exhibition.
Guidance for Film Education Providers
The Welsh Government has set out their current thinking for how they will change the operations of schools and other providers over time in response to COVID-19. Read more here.