Nearly two months after the United Kingdom issued a country-wide lockdown, the nation will reportedly be opening up its film industry as soon as possible. After prime minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation Sunday night, it would appear the UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport falls under the part of the country cleared to reopen and the department itself is said to be actively encouraging studios to start rolling the cameras as soon as possible, should sets be declared "COVID-19 secure."
“The government is working closely with the screen sector to understand how different types of productions can comply with social distancing guidelines, and give confidence to people in the TV and film industries that there are safe ways in which they can return to work," a department spokesperson told Deadline.
Should the film sector in the United Kingdom open up by the end of the month, that'd do wonders for several massive productions waiting to film. Matt Reeves' The Batman and Disney's The Little Mermaid were two of the biggest blockbusters set to filming abroad as production shut down; on the small screen, Netflix mainstays Sex Education and The Witcher also had plans to film additional seasons before production was put on the backburner.
This news comes just days Italy also agreed to open up its film sector and could hint at a possible reopening in the United States in the near future. In the case of Italy, all cast and crew members have to take a test before entering the set plus being subjected to temperature checks throughout the day. Each production must also keep a doctor on set while production is active to help keep watch.
The Czech Republic also recently reopened its doors to the film industry, signaling a potential return-to-work scenario for those working on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. The Disney+ series had been filming in Prague when movie sets were forced to shut down in March. Disney has yet to confirm if the studio would return to filming abroad before the industry opens back up stateside.
Cover photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images