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August 23, 2020

MHA release Standard Operating Procedures on preventive measures for Media Production

by facelesscompliance in Compliance Law

MHA release Standard Operating Procedures on preventive measures for Media Production

Media Production is a major economic activity that has contributed immensely to the GDP of our country.  Given the current COVID – 19 Pandemic, it is crucial that various stake holders involved in activities of Media Production take suitable measures to restrict the transmission of the pandemic, while at the same time resuming/conducting their operations and activities. 

The Ministry of I&B, in consultation with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has prepared the Guiding Principles and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on preventive measures for Media Production, released today by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. 

The highlights of the guiding principles include the general principles which have been given by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare including inter alia non-essential activities not allowed in the containment zone in COVID-19, employees with high risk to take extra precautions, as also use of face covers/masks, frequent hand washing, provision of hand sanitizers etc. and respiratory etiquettes specifically with regard to the Media Production. 

The Ministry has formulated the general SOPs taking into consideration international practices notified in the sector including physical distancing, designated entry and exit for shoot locations, sanitization, safety of staff, contact minimization and following of travel related guidelines issued by MHA including quarantine/isolation. Specifically, with regard to face masks, as per international practices, face mask has been made mandatory for cast and crew except for actors in front of the camera. 

Guiding Principles and SOP on preventive measures for Media Production to contain spread of COVID-19


Given the current COVID-19 outbreak in India, it is important that various
stakeholders involved in the activities of media production take suitable
measures to restrict transmission of the virus while conducting their
operations and activities


This document outlines guiding principles conveyed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) which are applicable for activities permitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as per MHA orders issued under Disaster Management Act, 2005 from time to time. These guiding principles are followed by domain-specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be ensured during activities of Media Production to prevent spread of COVID-19.

No media production activity shall be allowed in containment zones.

Further, States /UTs may consider proposing additional measures as per their field assessment.

Guiding Principles

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has following guiding principles:
a) Non-essential activities shall not be allowed in containment zones for
b) All employees who are at higher risk, i.e., older employees, pregnant
employees, employees who have underlying medical conditions, to take
extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line
work requiring direct contact with the public.
c) Use of face covers/masks at all public and workplaces to be made
mandatory. [However, this is subject to domain-specific SOP on Media
Production at para 4 (v) (a).]

d) Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be made wherever feasible.
e) Provisions for hand sanitization (using hand sanitizers) should be made
available at entry points and in work areas.
f) Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
g) Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice
of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/
handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
h) Installation and use of Arogya Setu App shall be advised to all.
i) Thermal screening of visitors/staff is to be carried out at entry points and
only asymptomatic individuals shall be allowed to enter the premises.
j) Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible at all
locations at all times, while sitting, standing in queues, etc.
k) Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises
duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured.
l) Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the
queue and ensure social distancing in the premises.
m) Provisions must be made for display of Posters/standees/AV media on
preventive measures about COVID-19 prominently outside and inside of
the venues.
n) Seating arrangement, if any to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained.
o) No-contact transaction (for issue/verification of tickets, etc.) should be
preferred by using online bookings, use of e-wallets, QR code scanners, if
p) Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining
social distancing norms.
q) Frequent sanitization of the entire workplace, common facilities, and all
points which come into human contact, e.g. handles, railings, etc. shall be
ensured. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found
r) Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
s) For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed
which, inter alia, emphasizes that the (i) temperature sitting of all air
conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30°C, (ii) relative
humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, (iii) recirculation of air to be avoided to the extent possible, (iv) intake of fresh air should be as much as
possible, and (v) cross ventilation should be adequate.
t) Suitable provisions may be made for temporary isolation of any suspect
case that may get reported.

SOPs related to Media Production

In addition to the Guiding Principles issued by MoHFW at para 2 above, following
guidelines shall also be adhered to for Media Production:

i. Physical distancing
a. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible at all
locations at all times, while sitting, standing in queues, etc. These include
places such as shoot locations, sound recording studios, editing rooms, etc.
b. Aspects such as scenes, sequences, set-ups, camera locations, positions of
various crew members, seating arrangements, food and catering
arrangements, staggered meal timings, etc. shall be planned while giving due consideration to physical distancing norms.
c. Measures shall be taken by the production team to involve minimum number of cast and crew members during the shoot.
d. Visitors and audience shall not be allowed on sets.
e. For outdoor shooting, necessary coordination with the local authorities shall be ensured to minimize and manage the spectators.
f. Resting or stay-over facilities shall be planned while adhering to physical
distancing guidelines.
g. Staggered call and pack-up timings for different production units shall be
ensured by studios having multiple sets.

ii. Designated Entry & Exit
There shall be designated entry and exit points for all shoot locations and
other workplaces.

iii. Sanitization
a. Common locations such as sets, cafeteria, make-up rooms, edit rooms,
vanity vans, washrooms, etc. shall be sanitized regularly.

b. Sensitive equipment, while keeping in consideration the delicate nature and technical feasibility, shall be sanitized, to the extent possible, before and after the shoot.
c. Measures for the safety of sanitization staff such as adequate provisions for rational use of gloves, boots, masks, PPE, etc. shall be undertaken.

iv. Human Resource related measures

a. As far as possible, the practice of work from home should be followed.
b. Communication and training on precautions related to COVID-19 shall be
conducted with the cast, crew, and all other staff.
c. Do’s and Don’ts shall be communicated at prominent points at the
workplace using information boards, posters, and infographics.
v. Contact Minimization
a. Face cover/ mask are mandatory for cast and crew, except for actors in
front of the camera.
b. Sharing of costumes, hair wigs, makeup items, equipment, etc. should be
kept at a minimum.
c. Make-up artists and hair stylists shall use relevant PPE. Artists should be
encouraged to do their hair styling and make-up remotely with the help of
d. Persons handling or working with common/shared equipment shall wear
disposable gloves. Efforts should be made to encourage wearing of gloves
among other members of the cast and crew as well.
e. Lavalier lapel mics may be avoided and shall never be shared. Direct
physical contact with the diaphragm of other mics shall be avoided.
f. Efforts shall be made to minimize the use of props. Sanitization of props
shall be done before and after use.

vi. Supervisor/COVID Coordinator

A designated supervisor shall be nominated from among the cast and the
crew. (S)he shall:
a. Keep record of the zone (Red/Orange/Green) where the workplace

b. Ensure that all concerned have installed and updated Arogya Setu app
on their mobiles.
c. Monitor the contacts between various personnel, observance of
precautions and sanitation protocols.
d. Keep a record of the medical history, travel history and a check on
health of the cast and crew.
e. Identify hospitals/clinics/testing facilities, in the nearby areas, which
are authorized to treat and/or test suspect COVID-19 cases. (S)he shall
contact the nearest health facility in case of health contingencies such
as any person developing symptoms of COVID-19.
f. Earmark quarantine areas for isolating employees showing symptoms
of COVID-19 till they are safely moved to medical facilities.
g. Support the health authorities for contact tracing in case of

vii. Anti-stigma Behaviour

COVID-19 related stigmatization or unruly behaviour shall be dealt with
strictly in coordination with the local authorities.

viii. Travel
Travel related guidelines and SOPs issued by the MHA, Ministry of Civil
Aviation, Ministry of Railways, state governments, etc. shall be adhered to

ix. Quarantine/Isolation
Suitable provisions may be made for temporary isolation of any suspect case that may get reported.

x. Air-Conditioning/Cooling

Latest “Guidelines for Running of Air Circulation, Air cooling and Air
Conditioning Equipment during COVID-19” as issued by the Central Public
Works Department shall be followed. Currently applicable guidelines are
available at https://cpwd.gov.in/WriteReadData/other_cir/45567.pdf.

The National Directives for COVID-19 Management and the relevant guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, state governments, etc. shall be strictly complied with during all activities and operations.

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