Working Safely during Covid-19: Guidelines for Photography and Filming Shoots

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This document serves as guidelines as agreed through discussion with industry, and does not take precedence over, or negate any COVID 19 guidance issued by the UK government, or by others for example businesses insurers. The BFC recommends that businesses in the industry undertake a full analysis of their operations and current government advice to prepare as fully as possible. 
  • To restrict and reduce the risk of infection and to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. 

  • To create a sanctioned / agreed set of guidelines for undertaking fashion shoots that the 
British Fashion Council and the British Fashion Model Agents Association (BFMA) wish to share with industry 


The client, if a paid shoot, is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the following guidelines have been adhered to. Responsibility can be delegated if mutually agreed in writing. If there is no client, the commissioner of the shoot is ultimately responsible for ensuring that these guidelines have been followed. 

The shoot risk assessment will need to address the risk of infection and control measures adopted. 

These guidelines must be shared with everyone that is on the shoot. Everyone should confirm that they have read and agreed to follow the guidelines in both the planning of and delivery of the shoot.


- Update your risk assessment template questionnaire to reflect best practice COVID protocol for shoots. 
For Government guidance and Health & Safety information: 
-  Ensure your business has a specific Covid-19 policy to include duty of care and ways of working (risk assessment, procedures etc). You will also need to have the relevant waivers in place to ensure that everyone on set agrees to comply with guidelines. 

-  Assign a lead ‘officer’ who monitors and encourages best practice on shoots. This could be Health & Safety officer or nominated individual on the shoot. Any person assigned should be informed with appropriate time and training to understand their role. 

-  Order and ensure that you are ready to provide PPE, sanitising kits and anti-bacterial solution to all attendees on the shoot. 

-  The internal locations where the crew will participate in the shoot, routes to and from and all equipment/props already at the location will be cleaned professionally prior to and post shoot using a company following COVID-19 cleaning standards. 

-  All equipment and props coming into the building will be cleaned prior and post shoot to the established hygienic measures by the person who is responsible for the equipment at that time. 

-  Ensure there are suitable and sufficient hand washing facilities and hand sanitiser. 

-  Define the working space with tape to demonstrate clear directions of travel and dedicated working zones to allow 2m distance between individuals. 

-  Rental companies used for any additional equipment, should be thoroughly vetted, only using third parties who have implemented explicit and detailed hygiene measures. 

-  For those individuals who will be on set, they will be contacted by the regulation officer the night before and the morning of the shoot to ensure all members taking part are feeling fit and well. 

Shoot Attendees and Screening 

- Health & Safety protocol provided to everyone that arrives on set. Everyone should confirm in writing that they have read the protocol and agree to adhere to protocol. 
-  Ask all individuals on the shoot to declare whether they have had Covid-19, or have been in close contact with anyone with Covid-19 or suspected Covid-19 symptoms on booking and 24 hours prior to shoot. Prepare to have substitutes on hold for all roles on shoot should someone fall ill in the run up to, or on the day of shoot. 

-  As good practice, ask all individuals attending the shoot to declare their travel within the last four weeks. Risk assessment to highlight any potential increased danger of infection. 

-  Ensure that all members of the shoot are contactable to discuss health the day before and the morning of shoot. 

-  Ensure that only essential personnel are in attendance at the shoot to maintain the best practice of 2m distance between individuals. (Clients and non-essential staff should attend remotely via video conference). 

-  Where possible take temperature tests on arrival on set. Follow escalation procedure if anyone has a temperature above 37.8C 

-  No one should attend or gain access to the set who is not on the pre-agreed production call sheet. 

-  Ensure that any details of chaperones are shared in advance and that they adhere to the same screening protocols. 

-  All attendees to follow General Hygiene Protocol (see General Hygiene Protocol) 

The Shoot 
-  Aim to shoot outdoors as much as possible.
-  Ensure windows and doors are kept open on site to ensure regular ventilation. 

-  Reduced crew sizes are in practice with a maximum of four crew members
allowed to be on set at one time. Client numbers must be discussed pre to filming and managed accordingly where talent features. 

-  General Hygiene rules must be implemented continuously throughout filming. All parties involved must wash their hands upon arrival as well as regularly throughout the day; before eating and whenever moving or changing the handling of equipment or props. 

-  Any shared surfaces must be regularly cleaned. 

-  Ensure that all PPE provided is worn and sanitising kits and anti-bacterial solution is available and used throughout the shoot. Enhanced PPE may be required if close contact by a number of people is needed on the shoot. 

-  Cough/sneeze into your sleeve, preferably into your elbow. If you use a tissue, discard it properly and clean/sanitise your hands immediately. 

-  If you cough/sneeze into your hands. Follow the 20-second hand-washing rule with soap and water or hand sanitiser. 
-  Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to prevent from getting infected. 

-  If you find yourself coughing/sneezing regularly, avoid close physical contact and liaise with the regulations officer for advice.

Food & Drink 

-  Crew members are encouraged to bring their own food for additional safety measures. 

-  Ensure that appropriate food and drink is made available, with individually wrapped catering and craft services to minimise the potential spread of infection. 

-  Ensure that all plates, cups, cutlery are santised and available for all on-site. Disposable tableware to be used where possible. 

-  Food & drink sanitisation stations are required. 

-  Multiple models are able to be on shoots, so long as proximity to each other during shoots is considered. 

-  Face coverings and gloves to be worn by models when not being photographed. Hair & Make Up 

-  No crew member will be near talent, unless they are part of the Hair, Make Up, Sound, or Wardrobe Departments. 

-  All those that are permitted to be near talent must be masked and gloved at all times. 

-  Sterilisation of all utensils before shoots and between models. 

-  Open doors and windows for hair dryers to be used. Outside ideally. 

-  Sprays & aerosols to be used instead of wax/creams to reduce contact. 

-  H&MU should be encouraged to split products/powders into separate containers for use on one model only to avoid cross contamination, and dispose of left over powder. 

-  Model can bring own make up if preferred if the shoot does not provide new products on set. 

-  Video calls to be used for preparation where possible. 

-  Extensive use of mirrors to be used to limit the amount of face in front of face time during the shoot. 

Styling & Fittings 

-  All screening protocol and access to shoot protocol to be followed. 

-  Workspace protocol to be followed to best ensure protection for design teams, stylists and models 

-  Design teams, stylists and models to wear masks and gloves during fittings. 

-  Clothes to be steamed between fittings and steamed in advance of shoot and left in accessible space for model and stylist. 

Post Filming 

-  All equipment involved in the shoot will be thoroughly cleaned by the person responsible for keeping it post-shoot. 

-  Check in with members of their team a couple of days post-shoot to maintain a conscious awareness of the health and well-being of those involved as good practice but not essential.

Infection outbreak procedure

If you think a team member has been infected: 

-  Strongly recommend that employees follow any Government guidance published on self- isolation/quarantine. Follow the NHS guidelines on isolation at home. 

-  Ensure staff who have infectious disease symptoms do not come to work for said self- isolation/quarantine timeline. 

-  Where required, ensure a reach out has been made to all individuals who had been in contact with that staff member. The premises will be contacted and deep cleaned, paying particular attention to the cleaning and disinfecting of any potential shared areas or equipment used by the team member. 

-  Remind the team to pay strict attention to infection control procedures, in particular to the washing of hands and the wearing of PPE if required. 

Cost considerations 
-  PPE & extra safety measures will add costs to production budgets. 

-  Slower working pace will add costs to production budgets. 

-  Last minute shoot cancellations if someone falls sick the night before to be mitigated where possible by identifying substitutes for all roles on shoot. 

-  Insurance not paid out for cancellation costs if it is not a paid shoot.
Local Travel

Reduce travel where possible. 

-  In-person meetings should be done virtually where possible. 

-  If you normally commute to a place of business, i.e. a film shoot, by public transportation and do not have other alternatives, cycle or walk where possible. If this is not an option, crew members who own a vehicle can carpool with one other crew member to a location (see Vehicle Precautions).

Vehicle Precautions: 

-  If a vehicle is needed to transport crew to a location, encourage team-owned vehicles to be used where possible. The vehicle must be thoroughly cleaned by the driver/owner using appropriate disinfectant. No more than two people can travel in the car adhering to social distancing. The passenger must sit in the back seat. A window should be down for adequate and continuous ventilation. Masks and gloves should be worn by all individuals. Once used, the vehicle should be cleaned appropriately. 

-  If a team-owned vehicle is not possible, a. No-contact Car Hire or b. Car Services can be used with the following protocols. Masks and gloves should be worn by all parties. 

a. No-contact Car Hire

Zipcar or equivalent. The vehicle must be thoroughly disinfected pre and post-shoot. 5-seaters allow for two individuals in the vehicle. 7-seaters allows for three individuals in the vehicle (one driver, two passengers). 1 must be seated in the left middle passenger seat, the other diagonally right in the far back seats. The same distancing and control measures must be followed 
b. Car Services

Addison Lee or equivalent services that provide 7 seat people carriers. The seats where the passengers sit must be wiped down by cleaning wipes provided by the regulations officer wearing appropriate PPE or car services who ensure this is done between every passenger are used. 7-seaters will only be used for two passengers to a vehicle. 1 must be seated in the left middle passenger seat, the other diagonally right in the far back seats. The same distancing and control needs to be adhered to. 
International Travel 
This is a constantly evolving situation and therefore it is strongly recommended that you check with government guidelines on foreign travel before planning/making any trips abroad. 
Travelling to the UK: UK Guidelines as at 29 May 2020 are that on return to the UK everyone except those with exceptions will be required to enter a 14 day quarantine. This will come into force from 8th June. Note that exemptions are extremely limited at this point. Further information can be found here
Travelling abroad: Individuals and businesses should check the relevant country websites on specific entry conditions and enforcement arrangements. UK Foreign Office country guides can be found here


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