Quarantine exemption from government could boost UK ad production

Directors, actors and directors of photography working on ads will not have to self-isolate.

Production: sector was hit hard by pandemic (Getty Images)
Production: sector was hit hard by pandemic (Getty Images)

The UK government has exempted directors and other talent entering England for advertising productions from quarantine requirements. 

The measure, effective immediately, means that directors, actors and directors of photography who arrive in the country to shoot an ad will not have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Currently, a two-week quarantine period is required for anyone entering the UK from abroad, unless they come from a certain country or profession on an exemption list. 

The Advertising Producers Association, the trade body for commercial production companies, worked with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to develop the exemption for productions. 

The move has significant implications for the UK ad industry because it will allow domestic companies to bring in talent from overseas and enable international agencies and brands to shoot commercials here. Like numerous other industries, the production sector has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. 

The APA said the exemption is also a recognition from the government of the ad industry’s contribution to the UK economy and exports. 

The ad industry is worth £6.9bn to the UK economy and was growing faster than any other UK export sector, while every £1 spent on advertising generates £6 for the economy, according to the Advertising Association. 

APA chief executive Steve Davies said: “This is huge for our members and very welcome from the government. It will help our members sustain their own businesses and to contribute to the rebirth of the British economy and exports.”

Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the AA, added: “This is a vital development to reinforce the fact that UK advertising is very much open for business, here to help customers from around the world grow their business. Our industry is working fast to adapt to the challenge and its entrepreneurial spirit will be right at the heart of the UK’s economic and social recovery.”

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