UPDATED: Covid-19 Shoot/Production Guidelines


The information below is adapted from the Association of Photographers’ guidelines for those shooting still and moving images during Lockdown 2.0. These guidelines are based on those produced by the APA to enable production companies to protect the health and safety of everyone on set during the pandemic.

Shoots can still continue despite the second lockdown because, like manufacturing, this is a profession that cannot be done from home.

Remember! The number of people on location should be kept to an absolute minimum and, where possible, all pre-production processes should be planned from home including budgets, agency and client meetings.

The AOP suggests the following statement is read to all shoot attendees, who must indicate their understanding of the guidelines before the shoot commences.

As part of our commitment to provide a safe working environment for all on set during the unprecedented, fast-changing COVID-19 situation, we need to know that you have listened to or read, and understood the following statements as part of your agreement with the production company engaging you, in that:

1. You have no cause to believe that you have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to COVID-19.
2. You have been meeting the Government COVID-19 guidelines and 2m-distancing when not at work.
3. As far as you are aware, you have not been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or anyone who is showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
4. You have not travelled to, nor to your knowledge had any contact with any individual travelling from any high COVID-19 risk countries (as deemed by UK FCO) in the 14 days prior to the shoot.
5. You have not had a cough, or a temperature of 38 degrees centigrade or above in the last 14 days.
6. If you develop a cough or a temperature of 38 degrees centigrade or above at any point before or during or within 14 days following the shoot you will immediately inform the photographer/production company engaging you.
7. If you are over 70 years of age or have any pre-existing condition which would put yourself at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, as defined by the Government here, you must inform production.
8. You will notify production immediately should anything change as regards to the above confirmations.
9. You have either heard or read and understood and agree to abide by the COVID-19 AOP Shoot/Production Guidelines, which are outlined below.

While on set

Appoint one crew member to oversee Covid-19 safety guidelines and ensure compliance with government advice. This person should also contact anyone who was on set in the event anyone is found to have Covid-19 in the 14 days after the shoot.

Provide clear signage indicating the safety guidelines to be followed on set.

Keep printing to a minimum – Covid-19 can last 24 hours on cardboard and far longer on other surfaces.

Stagger call times – this will help avoid congestion.

Minimise the number of crew/clients on site at any time.

Wash your hands regularly – hand soap and sanitiser (minimum 60% alcohol) should be readily available to everyone on set and used on arrival and throughout the shoot. It should be clearly indicated and placed in designated cleaning stations.

Relay the shoot via video link for agency staff or clients.

Use tape to mark out space markers and help those on set respect social distancing of 2m where possible, or 1m+ where adequate risk mitigation is in place.

Do not share equipment – walkie talkies and radios must be sanitised, labelled and bagged with crew names clearly visible. Mobile phones, tablets etc should not be shared either.

Find ways to keep talent 2m apart – where possible, consider using members of the same household, shooting individuals as separate plates and put the image together in post production.

Avoid using vapours, steam and hazers – including dry ice, mist, oils etc as these are likely to keep airborne infections in the atmosphere for longer.

Minimise risk of catering by offering per diems to allow crew to bring their own meals. Make sure any dining space allows for social distancing, offer disposable and recyclable plates and cutlery, and ensure everyone washes their hands before eating and drinking.



Sessions and call-backs should be done online via video link.

Children should be supervised closely by a trusted adult while on set to ensure they adhere to social distancing and safety guidelines.

Give extra consideration to those over 70 or with pre-existing medical conditions.

Location shooting


Research locations remotely via location libraries.

Ensure common/holding areas are outside to reduce the chances of virus spread.

Make sure locations are well ventilated – consider bringing equipment to change air flow (simply recycling air flow is not sufficient).

Avoid distant locations as these will require overnight stays.

Stagger crews for pre-light/set-build or dress to make sure only one crew is on set at any one time.

Wardrobe/hair and make-up


Talent to use own clothing where possible and to dress themselves. Stylists can direct from a distance.

Stylists should wear PPE if 2m social distancing is not possible. A separate, covered bin must be provided for the safe disposal of PPE.

Use disposable kit where possible, and follow appropriate disinfecting processes where necessary.

Give sufficient space for wardrobe/make-up departments to allow appropriate social distancing.

Hire equipment


Collect equipment in advance to allow a 72-hour kit quarantine period or a thorough cleaning process.

Try to use companies with a clear Covid policy including risk assessments and health and safety best practices.



Crew and talent should drive themselves to set and not use public transport.

Overseas productions


Check any air bridge, quarantining requirements and local rules on distancing/face coverings before travel.

Check if proof of a negative Covid test is required as a condition of entry into the country.

Agree a backup plan/cost-covering measures with the client should a member of production fall ill while overseas.

Ensure you have read/understood the Covid protocols followed by any international service providers before you travel