Despite the lockdown amid record demand from production companies wishing to film in Scotland, film crews have been given the green light to begin filming.
As long as strict social distancing and hygiene procedures are observed, the Scottish government agreed that cameras will continue to operate during the new restrictions.
Since filming resumed after a five-month break last year, Screen Scotland has reported a boom in demand for studio space.
The change is a big boost for the Scottish film industry, which in recent years has been worth more than £ 100 million to the economy.
The next series of the hit TV show Outlander, as well as the upcoming Netflix romantic comedy A Castle for Christmas, which will be filmed near Queensferry on Dalmeny Estate, are expected to begin shooting.
A second season of the award-winning black comedy Guilt by BBC Scotland is also to be filmed.
“The Scottish film and television industry operates strictly under the COVID-19 Code of Practice of the British Film Commission and takes very seriously its responsibility to ensure a high level of protection for cast, crew and communities,” said Isabel Davis, Screen Scotland’s managing director.
As well as the need to bring new content to viewers around the world, with the growth of digital services and the boom in content production, the film and TV industry is a significant and rising part of Scotland’s economic recovery.
“Major productions being filmed offer opportunities, not only for experienced crews, equipment companies and other suppliers, but also for new entrants to the industry,” he said.
“The film and television sector is an increasingly large part of the Scottish economy, supporting jobs both directly and indirectly across the country, and we have more productions than ever looking to film in studios and construction spaces across Scotland in 2021.”
The Scottish Government’s new guidance states: “Film and television productions can continue to operate at all levels and under these additional constraints, but should be carried out with the minimum number of people required to operate safely and effectively, and in accordance with all relevant guidelines on safe work from the Scottish Government and industry.”
Movie and television projects are required to take all appropriate measures to meet the criteria of physical distance.
“In line with industry guidelines, only a small number of people, mainly actors on camera, should have to work at a distance of less than two meters without PPE.”
Scotland has been the setting for a number of award-winning smash hits in recent years, including Mary Queen of Scots, The Batman, Avengers: Endgame, 1917 and Outlaw King from Netflix, as well as smaller productions such as Outlander and Deadwater Drop.
Over the past decade, Scotland’s reputation as a filming location has risen quickly. Creative Scotland figures show that in 2017, spending on film and TV projects increased to nearly £ 100 million – up from only £ 23 million ten years earlier.