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Entertainment industry no longer exempt from UK COVID travel restrictions

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People travelling to the UK for film and TV production are no longer exempt from COVID-19 restrictions from today (January 18).

The UK government has updated its list of job exemptions, and as of 4am GMT today, those travelling for television production and high-end television production and film will now have to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival.

Other entertainment jobs such as those in advertising productions and performing arts professionals are also no longer exempt.

Behind-the-scenes on ‘1917’. Credit: eOne

However, those “engaged in urgent or essential work for the BBC’s broadcasting transmission network and services” are still exempt from the restrictions – though will have to fill a passenger locator form, take a coronavirus test, and show a letter from their company that includes personal details, contact details of their employer and what work they will be undertaking.

Passengers can use the Test to Release scheme, where after five days of self-isolation they can book a private coronavirus test, and can stop self-isolating immediately if the result is negative. However, the government advises pre-booking the tests before leaving for the UK, and the scheme is not available to anyone who has been in or through a country on the travel ban list in the 10 days before arrival to England.

The latest exemption measures are set to be reviewed in around a month’s time on February 15.

Meanwhile, last week the UK government announced plans to vaccinate “tens of millions of people” by the spring. Health secretary Matt Hancock said last week that by the end of January everyone in England will be within 10 miles of a vaccination site, with sites opening in local pharmacies and vaccines brought by mobile teams in more rural areas.

In other news, a second study in Germany has reportedly shown that there is a minimal risk of COVID-19 being transmitted at an indoor concert venue. The study was carried out at Dortmund’s 1500-seat Konzerthaus over three days in November.

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