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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

14 December 2021

The Traffic Light system is designed for living with COVID-19 in the community. This is of course a huge mind-shift for everyone, but it is built on the foundation of one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

Overall, the intent of the new system appears to be:

  • Encourage everyone to get vaccinated so that we can safely reopen the country
  • Reduce stress on the health system and protect the vulnerable
  • Ensure certainty and business continuity by incentivising businesses that use the vaccination passport system

The Traffic Light System will offer businesses much more flexibility and more certainty in regards to business continuity. COVID-19 restrictions within each level of the Traffic Light system are designed to encourage businesses to use vaccination passports, where only vaccinated staff, contractors and customers are allowed into a business or work site.

For productions using vaccination passports there are no restrictions on numbers on a work site. And Close Proximity work (make up, stunts, actor interaction, etc.) can happen at all levels, although with increasing risk minimisation tools (PPE, hygiene measures, testing, etc.) in place when moving to the higher levels.

Productions choosing NOT to enforce a vaccination passport system may have restricted access to some council and private locations, and some locations may not be available to those productions. Close Proximity work is only allowed in the green level.

We STRONGLY urge you to familiarise yourself with the new protocols. And in the next week we hope to also publish department specific guidelines for the new system.

Thank you to the NZ On Air and the New Zealand Film Commission for funding the review of these protocols.

Full release here of the key updates.

ScreenSafe COVID 19 Health and Safety Protocols Review – Traffic Light System Documents:

ScreenSafe COVID 19 Health and Safety Protocols for the Traffic Light System Guidance – updated 14th December 2021

ScreenSafe COVID 19 Health and Safety Standard

These documents need to be read and utilised together. These documents are intended to give Production Companies and HOD’s guidance and forms to manage Covid 19 on a working production.

Vaccination Passport Productions Traffic Light System Guidance – updated 14th December 2021

Non-Vaccination Passport Productions Traffic Light System Guidance – updated 14th December 2021

Surveillance Testing information sheet here updated 14th December 2021

Each production is required to register with ScreenSafe – please read about these requirements carefully in the Protocols.

ScreenSafe Production Registration link

ScreenSafe COVID 19 Health and Safety Department Roles (these will be updated in the coming week – 14th December 2021)

A very big thank you to the ScreenSafe COVID 19 Health and Safety Group for all of your hard work putting these documents together.

Ngā mihi,

Kelly Lucas
Executive Director
Screen Industry Guild Aotearoa New Zealand Inc.
(Previously the NZ Film & Video Technicians’ Guild Inc.)

Red traffic light against clouds in the sky

Friday 3 December 2021

Hi and welcome to the Traffic Light system!

The following areas are currently in the RED level: Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki districts, Gisborne district, Wairoa district, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu districts

And these regions are in ORANGE: The rest of the North Island (Waikato, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington), as will the entire South Island.

Note: The Auckland land and air boundaries will remain in place, so until 15 December 2021 people will only be able to travel out of Auckland for permitted reasons. From 15 December 2021, restrictions at the Auckland boundaries ease and personal travel will be permitted for any reason for travellers who have a Vaccine Pass or have a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of travel.

The Protocols are currently out for legal and peer review. We were hoping to publish the revised protocols today, but we are still waiting for legal sign-off. Hopefully we will be able to publish in the next few days.

The new Protocols are very similar to the draft guidance provided on 17th November. But for now, the main things to keep in mind are:

  • Make a CLEAR decision whether you are doing a vaccination passport job or not.
  • Discuss your requirements with your safety office prior to commencing work and make clear guidelines to share with your crew.
  • If you need a film permit from a local council or film offices, please get in touch with them. Like everyone else, they are working hard to create clear guidelines for the new system.

Remember to get your My Vaccine Pass if you are double vaccinated or you have an official vaccination exemption. And productions should download the NZ Pass Verifier if you choose to use a vaccination passport on your production.

Finally – be nice to each other. It’s a strange new world for everyone, whether you are vaccinated or not. And it will take a while for everyone to adjust.

Kia kaha!

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

Download this update in PDF

24th November 2021

As per the governments announcements on Monday afternoon, please note the following:

New Zealand to Enter the New Traffic Light System on 3rd December

The whole country will be moving into the new system at 11.59 on 2nd December (effectively from Friday 3rd December):

  • Auckland will enter at the RED level
  • Other regions will start in the ORANGE or RED level depending on regional vaccination levels
  • No regions will go directly to GREEN

Auckland Hair Dressers and Barbers to Trial the New System

Hair dressers and barbers in Auckland will be allowed to open from Thursday 25th November to trial the new vaccination passport system. This is a trial of the system for this industry only, so unfortunately it does not mean that we can do hair & make up on set yet.

PS! Once we enter the new traffic light system on 3rd December, it is expected that all productions that use vaccination passports will be able to do Close Proximity work (although with appropriate PPE and hygiene measures in place).

Revised Screen Industry Protocols for the Traffic Light System

ScreenSafe are working hard to revise the Screen Industry protocols in line with the new Traffic Light System. Since we are still waiting for further government guidance about the new system, including the new legislation in regards to workplace vaccinations, the final protocols may not be ready by the 3rd of December. However we aim to issue enough guidance so that productions will still be able to operate safely from the 3rd of December.

Your Vaccination Passport

If you are double vaccinated you are now able to get your vaccination passport. You must have this in order to attend a vaccination passport shoot.

For more information, please go to this link: https://mycovidrecord.health.nz/

NZ Pass Verifier App

This is the official Ministry of Health phone app to verify if someone is fully vaccinated (or has a medical exemption). It is now available to download on any Apple or Android phone.

You can find more information HERE.

Sincerely,
The ScreenSafe COVID-19 Group

Link to full release here in PDF.

Red traffic light against clouds in the sky

17 November 2021

As announced today, it is expected that on the 29th of November, Cabinet will move both Auckland AND the rest of the country into the RED Traffic Light System “shortly thereafter”.

ScreenSafe are currently rewriting the Screen Industry COVID-19 Protocols in line with the new COVID-19 Protection Framework (aka the Traffic Light System). While that work is underway and while we await more detailed information from the government, MoH and WorkSafe, ScreenSafe has prepared the below initial guidance so our industry can start the mental shift to a new system.

Disclaimer: The below guidance is not official and final advice for implementation, but are assumptions based on the information provided by the government so far. Should additional information be provided, we will issue further guidance.

Read guidance here.

Sincerely,

The ScreenSafe COVID-19 Group