Friday 4th February 2022

ScreenSafe has updated the COVID-19 Protocols to align with some minor Government updates and with updated information in regards to the Omicron variant.

As we’ve all heard, the Omicron variant is highly infectious and it is now in our community, both on the North and South Island. Even with New Zealand’s very high vaccination rates, it is likely that infection rates can reach the thousands per day over the next few weeks/months.

The Government recommends a booster shot as an additional layer of protection against the Omicron variant.

The changes to the Protocols are as follows:

Omicron Update (in the “About COVID-19” Section)

General Ministry of Health information about the Omicron variant.

Update on Mask/Face Covering Requirements (in the “About COVID-19” Section)

A face covering will need to be an actual mask and attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. This means scarves, bandannas, or t-shirts should not be used.

Stricter mask requirements are now in place for essential services. While that does not apply to our industry, we urge you to consider MoH information about what masks will provide you and your workplace with the best protection: Link here.

Managing an Omicron Outbreak (New section)

This new section provides information about the 3 phases of the impending Omicron outbreak, including applicable isolation timeframes for cases and close contacts. It also provides some basic steps for dealing with an outbreak in your workplace.

Vaccination Update (in the “Vaccinations & Vaccination Passports” Section)

Booster update – you can now get this only 3 months after your second dose (previously it was 6, then 4 months).

Update about the Child Vaccine (for kids 5-11) which is now available.

Rapid Antigen Testing Update (in the “Testing” Section)

Updated with the latest information about RAT testing.

Note that this continues to be an evolving topic as supplies of RAT are currently limited. Although we are hopeful this will become a vital tool for all productions.

Surveillance Testing (in the “Testing” Section)

As previously confirmed by MoH – Community Testing Centres CANNOT be used for production surveillance testing. These sites are only for symptomatic people and close contacts. Productions must bear the cost of surveillance testing themselves and should not ask cast or crew to go to Community Testing Centres. Link here.

ADR/Booth Work Update (in the “Traffic Light Guides”)

We have added in a quick note about the need for proper guidelines in regards to sanitation, ventilation and physical distancing for any ADR or other booth work in post-production.

The 5-Step Border Reopening 27th February (in the “Immigration and International Travel Restrictions” Section)

Updated in regards to today’s announcements about the 5-stage re-opening of our international borders.

Links to updated information:

ScreenSafe COVID-19 H&S Protocols – Omicron Update

Vaccination Passport Traffic Light Guidelines and Non-Vaccination Passport Guidelines

ScreenSafe would like to thank the NZ Film Commission and NZ on Air for funding this initiative.

Full release here.

Sincerely,
The ScreenSafe COVID-19 Group
Email: info@screensafe.co.nz

Last updated on 8 February 2022