The crew member tested positive during regular production testing, Variety understands. Production will pause for the appropriate isolation period — 10 days — in line with the latest U.K. government advice. As standard protocol, the production tests cast and close-contact crew twice weekly.
Sky has a set of protocols in place, including separate bubbles and close contact groups, that have been applied successfully across a number of productions both at Sky and across the industry. Because these protocols were in place, only those working inside this close contact group, have been sent home to isolate as a precaution.
“Throughout this time, the safety of our colleagues and customers remains our number one priority,” a spokesperson for Sky told Variety. “‘Gangs of London’ S2 production has temporarily been suspended with cast and crew now self-isolating. We will return to production as soon as it is safe to do so.”
“Gangs of London” is created by Gareth Evans and Matt Flannery. The first season was Primetime Emmy and BAFTA nominated.It is produced by Pulse Films and Sister. Production on the season began in June.
The series is the latest in several high profile shoots impacted by positive COVID-19 cases. In recent days the shoots for Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” “Matilda” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon” have had to be paused.
In the world of theater, Kenneth Branagh’s revival of “The Browning Version” and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cinderella” have been halted because of positive COVID cases.
U.K. rules require those in close proximity to those testing positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate for 10 days. High profile people isolating at the moment include U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak after they were in contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid who tested positive.
Johnson threw open the country fully on July 19, the so-called “Freedom Day.” The U.K. recorded 39,906 new coronavirus cases on June 22 and 325,223 in the last seven days.
Meanwhile, the British Film Commission’s “Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production” guidance remains in place.
“The BFC’s incredibly rigorous COVID-secure Film and High-End TV production guidance enabled our sector to restart swiftly and safely, and remains in place. It was created in response to industry need,” said BFC CEO Adrian Wootton. “Its practices are now established and followed, and in some cases voluntarily exceeded, by studios and productions who all seek to keep the safety of cast, crew and community at the top of the agenda. It is for this reason that we have produced this revised guidance, and strongly encourage its use while the pandemic is still a threat.”