As countries create new exemptions for film and television productions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.K. government has announced it plans to exempt “small numbers of essential cast and crew” from its 14-day travel quarantine in order to streamline production and get back to work on blockbusters.
In the case of “essential cast,” that would include leading U.S. actors such as Tom Cruise, as the exemption will allow filming to resume on Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible 7” — as well as “Mission: Impossible 8” — at Warner Bros. Studio Leavesden, near London.
British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden actually spoke with Cruise last weekend about production plans moving forward, stating that, “New exemption from quarantine rules for filmmakers means we can start making the world’s best blockbusters again.”
FILM NEWS 🎥
New exemption from quarantine rules for filmmakers means we can start making the 🌍 best blockbusters again
Great to talk to @TomCruise last weekend about getting the cameras rolling again on Mission: Impossible 7 at #Leavesden https://t.co/We5JhITbYg pic.twitter.com/ebw33aeRXC
— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) July 5, 2020
“Our creativity, expertise and highly successful tax reliefs for our screen industries means that we are an in-demand location that, in turn, delivers a great return for our economy,” said Dowden. “We want the industry to bounce back and exempting small numbers of essential cast and crew from quarantine is part of our continued commitment to getting cameras rolling safely again.”
In addition to the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion” will also resume filming in the U.K.
The exemption only applies to cast and crew coming into England, as other parts of the U.K. have their own set of rules working on film and television productions that qualify as British, according to the British Film Institute. Cast and crew who earn this particular exemption will be required to live and work in controlled “bubble” environments, which will include accommodation and production locations.
“Today’s immensely welcome news is also a clear recognition of the importance of the film and high-end TV inward investment sector to the UK’s economy,” said Adrian Wooton, chief executive of the British Film Commission.
Ben Roberts, chief executive of the British Film Institute, added: “Film and television are worth £9.9 billion to the UK economy and being able to get production back up and running as quickly as possible is going to help our industry and its 77,000 production workers contribute to the UK’s economic recovery.”
In addition to film and television productions, the U.K.’s new quarantine exemptions will also allow major sporting events to move forward this summer.