Important COVID 19 info from SPADA

Posted Wednesday 18 Mar 2020

We really appreciate the great job our friends at SPADA are doing of keeping us up to date about COVID-19. Here's their latest:

Everyone's health is at the forefront of our minds during this time, as is the health of the domestic screen sector; therefore SPADA has been taking part in calls with key stakeholders, including the NZFC, NZ On Air, Te Mangai Paho and bond companies to discuss the potential short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19.
With a number of international productions  temporarily suspending or postponing their shoots, SPADA's immediate concern is supporting productions currently shooting, or just heading into production. We need to ensure these productions have the support they need to safe-guard themselves and complete their shoots.
NZ On Air and NZFC prepared the following updates for SPADA to share with its members:

Tena koutou whanau, as noted in our Shorts Newsletter from Monday NZ On Air is keeping calm and carrying on as much as it can as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We understand that uncertainty is not the producer's friend and NZ On Air will be as helpful as we can be as we all navigate these turbulent times.  If you have any questions or queries about your individual projects please email or call one of the funding team.

As the Covid-19 crisis evolves, the New Zealand Film Commission continues to follow updates closely. Of special importance is the continuity of existing and upcoming productions and the impact any production shutdowns would have on the livelihood of New Zealand producers, post houses, key creatives, crews, cast and the broader film community. We will be continuing our conversations with New Zealand producers of NZFC funded productions and will work directly with them to support the problem solving required by this situation. The NZSPG unit at the NZFC will be available to answer questions and to hear from you regarding specific issues arising. We will continue to share our plans with SPADA, and the other Guilds and associations, as we seek to find concrete ways to support the industry. At the forefront of all our discussions will be the health and safety of New Zealanders and the ongoing sustainability of New Zealand's film industry.

On the advice that SPADA has received, unless you have existing cover the insurers will not cover COVID-19, making it unlikely that productions will be able to close their finance.

Health & Safety Procedures/Recommendations for Producers
SPADA continues to recommend to all productions and production companies to stay up to date with the Government health alert and latest medical advice that can be found on the Ministry of Health's website.
SPADA recommends that producers:
- Communicate information to the workforce as it is regularly updated by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health provides the most up-to-date information on the cases in New Zealand, along with information on symptoms, prevention, and what to do if you suspect you have Covid-19.
- Ensure that hygiene amenities are readily available, including soap and freshly running water, hand sanitiser, antiseptic and/or alcohol wipes.
- Ensure that all communal spaces are kept clean.
- Publish and promote hygiene guidelines (Add information to your call sheets eg. "Advice to Staying Healthy: Wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough or sneeze. If you're sick, stay home and away from others.").
- Reiterate at each rest break that hand washing should occur.
- Require your Health & Safety Officers to factor COVID-19 into the production risk assessment and prepare a hazard mitigation plan
- Require all employees/contractors to advise the production of recent or planned overseas travel and to provide a medical certificate before turning up to work if necessary.
- Require employees/contractors to report to the production if they develop symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath and to seek medical advice accordingly.
SPADA will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates accordingly. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and each other.