Most entertainment industry jobs no longer qualify for exemption to COVID-19 rules, such as the need to self-isolate for 10 days, for those seeking to enter the U.K.
From 4 A.M. local time on Monday, the U.K. government removed a number of previously exempt job categories, including advertising productions, performing arts professionals, television production, and high-end television production and film.
“From 4 A.M. GMT Monday 18 January 2021, the HETV [high-end TV] and Film Travel Self-isolation ‘Quarantine’ Exemption, along with other screen exemptions and Travel Corridors, has been suspended for at least one month. This is to prevent and suppress the spread of new variants of Coronavirus into the U.K.,” said an update from the British Film Commission.
The new measures will be reviewed on Feb. 15.
The U.K. suspended travel corridors from Monday, meaning those who arrive in England from anywhere outside the U.K., Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Visitors must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to England.
However, people engaged in urgent or essential work for the BBC’s broadcasting transmission network and services, continue to be exempt. Those working for the BBC will need to complete a passenger locator form before they travel to the U.K. and take a coronavirus test, and will not need to self-isolate. Incoming BBC workers will have to produce a letter from the company at the border, which includes personal details, such as name and address, employer contact details, and the nature of work.
Incoming passengers can avail of the “Test to Release” scheme, where, a full five days after arrival in England and self-isolating, they can book a coronavirus test from a private provider. If the test result is negative they can stop self-isolating as soon as they receive the result. The government advises pre-booking these tests before leaving for the U.K.
The “Test to Release” scheme is not available to anyone who has been in or through any country that is subject to a travel ban in the 10 days before arrival in England.
“The vaccine rollout is a gamechanger for getting us back to normal, which is why we must do everything we can to ensure this is successful,” a U.K. government spokesperson told Variety. “In the short term this means reducing any risks about new strains coming in the country. We understand that these changes will come as a disappointment to the sectors involved however it is important we take action in the interest of public health.”