Ontario Creates Film and Television Safety Report

Film and Television Production Health and Safety Results

Film and Television Production Health and Safety Results June 2020 – January 2021

Date: 01-14-2021

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the province has made the difficult decision to increase public health restrictions across Ontario with Enhanced Shutdown Measures that took effect January 14, 2021.Ontario’s film industry has implemented rigorous and effective health and safety protocols to ensure safe working environments including extensive testing regimes. Film production activity is permitted to continue under the enhanced measures, provided current Ontario regulations are followed.

The Province-wide Shutdown News Release can be found here.

The updated Workplace Safety Measures document can be found here.

*Please see page 28 for details about re: the film and television industry.

Regulations can be found here:

Health and Safety Protocols

The Section 21 Health and Safety Guidelines were published on Thursday June 25th 2020 and updated most recently on November 24th. Film and television productions are required to ensure workplaces are safe; that cast, crew and communities are protected; and that physical distancing is maintained as much as possible. The guidelines provide productions of any size with a foundation for safe return to work protocols.

COVID-19 Testing

The film and television sector is making extensive use of COVID-19 testing for film workers and the sector was selected by the Ministry of Health to receive Panbio rapid antigen tests to support screening on production sites. The film and television sector was selected because of its robust health and safety practices and the infrastructure it has created to administer the tests. PRC and antigen testing cadence ranges from every other day to weekly, depending on the role of individual worker. Many productions also require a negative pre-employment test result 48 hours prior to employment.

Workplace Prevention Measures

COVID-19 health and safety measures such as social distancing, masking, testing, adherence to close contact recommendations and cohorting have been widely implemented. Productions have created well defined tiered workplace zones to limit contact between employees. Location management teams have also worked closely with regional and municipal film offices across the province to ensure well defined distinctions between public space and the workplace when working on location to ensure public safety. Rigorous health and safety protocols specifically developed for film and television production in collaboration with unions, producers, epidemiologists, and health, safety experts, municipal and provincial film offices and the Ministry of Labour have been the foundation of a safe return to production across Ontario.

Health and Safety – Results to Date

· Sixty-two live action productions have actively worked in Ontario since production activities were permitted to resume in June.

· Ontario Creates is not aware of any COVID-19 outbreaks on productions since film and television activity has resumed.

· The positivity rate from COVID-19 testing reported by the sector has been 0.07% based on 105 positive results from 148,417 tests conducted between August and January. Every positive test has been identified through regular testing without any other Close Contacts resulting in a positive infection.

Other Jurisdictions

British Columbia and Quebec continue to allow film and television production to continue.  Most recently, Quebec has exempted its film and television sector from both the lockdown and the curfew that Premier Legault announced on January 6th.Globally, film and television production continues in key jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ireland, Greece, Victoria State in Australia, and the U.S. states of California, Oregon, Illinois, Florida, Hawaii, Georgia.

Economic Impact

In 2019, the film and television sector generated $2.16B towards Ontario’s GDP, creating 44,500 direct and spin-off full time jobs for Ontarians. A total of 62 live action productions have taken place throughout the province since production activities were permitted to resume in June 2020.