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ITV in talks over isolation exemption for news and daytime TV production

·1 min read

The boss of ITV has revealed the group is in talks with the Government as it looks to secure self-isolation exemption for its news and daytime television crews.

Chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said the UK’s so-called pingdemic is proving a “difficult situation” for the broadcasting giant’s production operations.

She said ITV has been holding discussions with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) over possible exemptions for workers on certain productions – in particular news and daytime programmes.

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a difficult situation from a production point of view, because clearly it is,” she said.

“We have people on set – we’ve got crews and cast – and don’t want to lose anybody to self-isolation.”

She added: “We have been in talks with DCMS about exemptions for certain aspects of production for television, because we do some vital services as a public service broadcaster.”

While the Government is considering the request, a decision is unlikely until mid-August, according to ITV.

It comes after a scheme allowing critical workers to be tested to avoid Covid self-isolation in England has been expanded due to increasing staff shortages.

The Government extended the list earlier this week to cover another 1,200 key businesses and employers, on top of the 800 already identified.

But with many crucial sectors not on the list and exemptions for double-vaccinated adults not set to come in until August 16, the pingdemic is causing operational headaches across many industries.

Ms McCall said that, despite the difficulties, there is “no risk that shows will come off air”.

“It’s a worry, but so far we are managing it and mitigating it,” she said.

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