Iceland Allowing International Filmmakers To Travel & Resume Production On Friday; Special Permits Required

Iceland has given the green light for international film and TV professionals to travel to the country and resume work as early as tomorrow, providing they secure a necessary permit.

From Friday (May 15), international filmmakers, crew and actors can apply for a special exemption to the 14-day quarantine, which is mandatory upon arriving in the country, that allows them to serve the period between their hotel and their workplace, provided they comply with safety procedures. This effectively allows them to get on set right away, the country’s national agency Film In Iceland confirmed to Deadline.

The permit needs to be applied for via a local Icelandic production services company and goes directly to the Chief Epidemiologist for Iceland.

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Without the permit, any travellers from high-risk countries (currently all countries aside from Greenland and the Faroe Islands) must serve the full 14-day quarantine upon arrival and cannot work on productions in that time.

The conditions for the exceptions, if granted, are outlined in full here. They include travelling directly to accommodation or work sites from the airport, using private vehicles or taxis for all travel, only travelling between sets and hotels for the duration of the 14-day period, not sharing on-set facilities with non-quarantined individuals, proper hand sanitation, and using PPE.

The exceptions do not apply to anyone who has been confirmed positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to individuals with the virus – they must serve the full quarantine period. The update notes that, if Iceland experiences a resurgence of the epidemic, stricter rules may be enforced and modifications and exemptions restricted or voided.

Also included in the document are a variety of on-set safety procedures, mirroring those Deadline has reported on from around the world (such as in Spain). These include having designated safety professionals on set, increased sanitation and hygiene facilities, distancing between individuals, and temperature checks for each member of crew upon arrival on set every day.

Violations may result in fines and enforcement of full quarantine.

From June 15, further easing of restrictions is planned. From that date, travellers will be given a choice between being tested for the virus upon arrival instead of a two-week quarantine, or otherwise proving that they are virus free.

Iceland only recorded three infections in May. The country was one of the first to get production rolling again, with Deadline revealing that Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur had re-started production on his Netflix series Katla earlier this month.

Major international productions to have shot in Iceland include Game Of Thrones, The Fate Of The Furious and Prometheus.

“Iceland has become an increasingly popular location for international film-crews,” said Iceland’s Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir. “We continue to encourage this trend with incentives because we value the experience and knowledge gained by our local crews and the economic impact for local communities and for the country as a whole. I am happy that in spite of COVID-19 we have managed, in cooperation with our health authorities, to provide a rare opportunity for international film-crews to continue work, while of course respecting all the precautions and measures we have put in place in order to make this possible.“

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