Track Changes and Updates

The AICP COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines and Considerations were posted on April 27th, 2020, and are considered an ever-evolving resource. All changes and updates are listed below in reverse chronological order.

As we intelligently and cautiously ramp up live action commercials, we continue to provide practicable and safe approaches to all phases of production and post production. To this end, this document has been created and updated, and will continue to be.

A constant since version 1 is the emphasis placed on remaining diligent in placing an unprecedented amount of thought and planning with steadfast attention to hygiene and sanitation to maintain safe and healthy work environments. By proactively articulating our resolve toward this goal, we hope to continue to inspire the confidence of all participants, as well as civic leaders and regulators. We want our industry to function with full confidence that we are doing so responsibly, taking into consideration every angle of keeping all personnel on our sets and in our facilities, safe.

Depending on the specifics of the work location, the composition of employees, and the overall conditions dictated by the rules of civil authorities, practical adjustments will have to be made using individual judgement. It is safe to assume that the way we approach work has forever been changed. With leadership and planning, we can approach this from a place of innovation rather than concession, finding new ways to work safely, efficiently, and effectively.

All facets of our business must ensure the level of safety for all involved, by all involved, and should never be compromised. We must be mindful and realistic about factors such as time and cost that will be affected by necessary diligence. While we are constantly developing new practices to dovetail with outside entities, communication and understanding of these new practices must foster confidence with all parties who are part of  the process. Other entities that influence or establish employee-based rules (unions, OSHA, etc.) and government authorities (Federal, State, Local or Foreign) that will have varying degrees of oversight regarding how we congregate in offices, facilities and on-set will continue to challenge our approaches (e.g. size of groupings allowed). These factors will evolve, as will our practices, but the basic premise of working with the safety of individuals in mind, and respect for all those in the surrounding environments in which we work will be a constant—and will inherently prefigure any developing requirements.

One thing is for sure: planning to work with the fewest number of people in close proximity to each other will not only put evolving rules at the forefront of our minds, but it will create a sense of confidence amongst participants that safety measures are in place, and are of paramount concern to us.

These new practices will require patience and mutual respect. Each company will implement the following guidelines, as works best for differing scenarios. Experience by our membership leads to responsible behavior that will ultimately become second nature for all personnel.

Having produced hundreds of commercials under the previous five versions of the guidelines since late April, we all continue to learn. We've proven our commitment to the business and to each other and have proven our ability to adapt. While there can be no equivocating when it comes to maintaining a safe work environment, our industry is comprised of filmmaking professionals who have each other's backs, at every turn of a project, this dynamic is of even greater importance when it comes to health and safety. There will undoubtedly be times when an individual will need to be reminded that they can step off the set and go outside for some mask-less fresh air, there will be times when an individual will need to be reminded to check their distance from another individual, there will be times when an individual will need to be reminded to wash their hands or fix their PPE. Any amount of designated COVID personnel cannot be in all places at all times. Any participant on any production not only has the right to help correct something in need of correcting, they should feel compelled to and should be encouraged to take action by those in charge. This goes between departments, and it knows no rank. And, this should not be done from the position of anger or shame. This is us having each other’s backs in a time where the entire world needs to have each other’s backs.

For the foreseeable future, we will keep offering insights and commonsense guidance, with the goal of maintaining the responsible, productive industry we are so proud to be a part of.

Version 6 - Last Updated 9/07/20 (Click Here for PDF Version)

  • Try to book production company and post production company with as much lead time as possible to make sure all needs specific to the project can be attended to and scheduling thought out to  ensure safety measures can be met adequately (e.g.. any specific testing) or that props and specific equipment can be sourced.
  • Costs for complying with workplace guidelines should be clearly delineated in the bid.
  • Work should be planned to minimize COVID-19 related disruption risks so far as it is reasonably practicable to do so. However, no amount of planning can fully mitigate risks.  It should be understood that additional measures will require an approved overage.  For COVID-19 related risks, Agency / Client should:
    ○ Maintain contingencies for non-insurable COVID-19 related costs such as:
        ■ Additional production costs (e.g. locations become unavailable, duplication of crew required due to sickness, transmission failure, etc.)
        ■ Non-production related costs (e.g. regulations change, costs for quarantining crew are incurred, etc.).
        ■ Cancellation, postponement, and force majeure.
    ○ Reasonably approve replacement of key personnel (director, artist or talent) in the event they are unable to work due to COVID-19 exposure or infection or possible risk thereof.
    ○ Include in agreement with the Company that the Agency and/or Client is responsible for COVID-19 related costs in the likely event such costs are not covered by insurance.
  • If Agency/Client are attending remotely, or if the project is to be completed remotely, cyber liability insurance should be in place (by way of wrap-up or individually acquired policy) to cover any data security breaches, and any delays due to connectivity should be treated as an overage.
Art Department:
  • Click here to view detailed information recommended by IATSE Local 44 Set Decorators.
  • Click here to view detailed information recommended by IATSE Local 44 Food Stylists.
  • Click here to view letter from IATSE Local 44 to our member companies.

Camera Department:

  • Click here to view detailed recommendations from IATSE Local 600.

Hair & Make-Up:

  • Click here to view detailed recommendations from IASTE Local 706
  • Click here to view detailed recommendations from IASTE Local 798

Sound Department:

  • Click here to view detailed recommendations from IASTE Local 695

Transportation Department:

  • Consider type of vehicle when determining number of persons allowed:
    ○ One person per row
    ○ Truck cab with a second row: Driver plus passenger in back on opposite side
    ○ Cube Truck: Driver only
    Golf Cart: Driver plus one person in back.
  • Vehicles should have non-toxic disinfectants and appropriate disposal readily available.
  • The following high-touch surfaces should be cleaned:
    ○ Door handles (inside and out)
    ○ Steering wheels, gear shift levers, signaling levers, air conditioning controls, and any other items the driver touches regularly
    ○ Seats, if they are made of a wipeable material such as vinyl. Fabric surfaces should not be wiped.
    ○ Seat belt buckles
  • If physical distancing cannot be maintained and/or a trip of more than 15 minutes duration is anticipated, consider use of face shields (in addition to masks) for passengers and driver.
  • Passengers should not sit in the front seat next to the driver.
  • Passengers should not sit directly next to each other in a vehicle whenever possible. If spacing allows, ideally only one passenger should be in a row and should stagger seating diagonally, so they are not directly in front of or behind the passenger in the next row.
  • Adjust practices to encourage physical distancing, such as staggering start times for drivers, to prevent crowding at pickup/drop-off locations.
  • If staff need to travel between workplaces in vehicles such as vans, maintain physical distance wherever possible. Larger vehicles may be able to accommodate physical distancing by using a seat configuration that maximizes distance between people.
  • One person per seat row in all vehicles (e.g. 5 including driver in 15 pass).
  • In multi-passenger vehicles such as vans or buses, load the vehicle from back to front, and unload from front to back. The driver should be the last one to board.

Domestic Travel:

International Travel:

HR Considerations:

  • Identify person(s) responsible for COVID support and management.
    ○ Office: Person(s) assigned by company managers
    ○ Set: Person(s) assigned by Producer
  • All personnel should be contacted if they were determined to have been in close contact with an individual confirmed with COVID-19.

Symptom Identification and Personal Screening:

  • Currently, reliable testing with timely results for active cases is not readily available on-site, and varies geographically. Therefore, symptomatic polling is the most reliable screening process.
  • In addition, many use periodic temperature taking as an easy form of identifying possible infection. While this is not a fail safe measure, it can be an effective way of identifying a symptomatic person who did not report a fever at the time of reporting via screening or check in.

Development of Symptoms:

  • The CDC’s current Symptom-Based Strategy is recommended, which at this time calls for:
    At least 24 hours have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

HR Considerations:

  • Consider the health and wellness of all personnel during these unprecedented times.
  • Establish responsible policies for personnel to self-diagnose health symptoms and report to a designated Compliance Assistant.
    ○ Office: Existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) Administrator
    ○ Set: Person sourced by the production team
  • Consider Policies for personnel traveling — locally and long distance.
  • All personnel (in addition to those hired by Agency / Client i.e. talent) to provide contacts for family / household in case of emergency.
  • All personnel should be contacted subsequently in the event that fellow workers or talent are found to have contracted COVID-19 within two weeks following possible exposure.
  • Review any established Paid Time Off policy for conformity with new state and federal requirements.

Symptom Identification and Personal Screening:

  • All personnel will be required to participate in daily symptom monitoring prior to arriving on set or their workplace.
  • Some ways to fulfill this requirement are:
    ○ Electronic survey, which can be pushed to a mobile device. This then provides personnel with an electronic certificate, which they show to gain entry to the building, set, or location.
    ○ Manual screening by designated individual using checklist (if on set, done by, or coordinated with the Medic) prior to personnel entering the workplace.
  • Americans with Disability Act (ADA) conformity:
    ○ All employees should be subject to the same screening, after a conditional offer of employment.
    ○ In accordance with the ADA and other applicable laws, only a designated person(s) may be privy to medical information provided by personnel. All such information must be stored separately from the employee’s personnel records and be held in the strictest confidence.
  • Please note, when working at a rented facility (e.g. studio lot, stage), there may be specific requirements for screening and it may be performed by designated individuals employed by the facility.
  • Currently, testing for active cases is not available on-site. In addition, testing such as antibody testing and temperature taking are not reliable screening indicators — therefore, using symptomatic polling is the most reliable screening process.

Development of Symptoms:

  • All personnel are expected to immediately report to a designated person(s) at the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Designated person(s) must know symptoms, protocols to process symptomatic individuals.
  • Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave immediately, and return home.
  • If any personnel develop symptoms of COVID-19, they must not go to work and should immediately contact their healthcare provider, and their direct supervisor as soon as practicable.
  • Anyone who reports to work with symptoms of COVID-19 will be instructed to return home and contact their healthcare provider.
  • Persons diagnosed with COVID-19 must follow CDC-recommended steps. They should not return to work until the following conditions have been satisfied:
    ○ The CDC’s current Symptom-Based Strategy is recommended, which at this time calls for:
        ■ At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).
        ■ At least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared.
        ■ A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalized may return to work only when their healthcare provider advises them to do so.
  • Persons who have not had COVID-19 symptoms but who tested positive and are under isolation should follow the CDC’s time-based strategy:
        ■ At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
        ■ If they develop symptoms, then the symptom-based strategy should be used.
  • Doctor’s notes are not required to return to work as long as the individual meets the CDC criteria listed.
  • If any personnel have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must not go to work and should contact their healthcare provider, and direct supervisor or designated person as soon as possible. Local public health guidance for quarantine (14 days) will be followed. “Close contact” will be defined per CDC guidance as within six foot for more than a few minutes’ time.
  • If any personnel is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality as required by the ADA.

Additions to Exposure Reduction - Employer:

  • High touch points and equipment should be regularly wiped down during the day.
  • Consider having a designated person in the role of a Compliance Assistant to support in maintaining best practices suitable for your worksite(s).
    ○ This individual should be trained on health and safety precautions, policies and procedures related to COVID-19 prevention, infection prevention practices including disinfection, and PPE.
    ○ This individual should be present at all times during work hours.
    ○ The designated individual(s) will oversee and monitor physical distancing, symptom monitoring, disinfecting protocols, and PPE compliance.
    ○ All personnel should know who the designated person(s) is and how to contact them.

Addition to Surface Transmission Mitigation - Employer:

  • EPA-approved disinfectant with a claim against SARS-CoV-2 should be widely available at the workplace.
  • Limit the number of Agency / Client personnel attending a callback due to social distancing requirements.
Catering / Craft Services:
  • Follow all public health regulations regarding the delivery, handling, preparation, and distribution of food, including use of appropriate food service PPE, safe food temperatures, etc.
Handling of Equipment:
  • Hands should be cleaned before and after handling props, accessories, and other items.
  • Set medics should be trained to recognize symptoms of COVID-19 and procedures related to individuals who show symptoms.
New Section - Travel:
  • PPE should be worn for the duration of person-to-person contact.
  • If you reside in a city, county or state with a stay-at-home order in effect, you should abide by the legal ordinance(s) governing your jurisdiction.
  • Review individual airport and airline requirements for the use of face coverings or other PPE.

Domestic Travel

  • Review state guidelines for travel restrictions or quarantine requirements. A list of opening states is available on our blog.
  • Review CDC guidelines and considerations for domestic travel.

International Travel

  • The U.S. State Department has a Global Do Not Travel Advisory in effect for U.S. citizens.
  • Travel may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite time frame with limited assistance from the U.S. Government.
  • Review the U.S. Embassy website of the country you plan to travel to in order to determine if there are any entry restrictions or quarantine requirements for U.S. citizens.
  • For travelers returning to the U.S., review U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines, entry restrictions and quarantine requirements.
  • Review CDC health advisories and travel recommendations by country.
  • Review CDC guidelines for returning from international travel.
  • Review any World Health Organization (WHO) specific guidance for countries/regions you will be visiting.

Additions to General Practices for All Worksites - Exposure Reduction - Employer:

  • Monitor country, state and local ordinances for disease control and implement local and national regulations before and during production.
  • Encourage a work from home strategy when possible.
  • Consider shifting work day start and end times to avoid rush hour commutes, congestion in elevators, lobbies and studio common areas.
  • Consider having a designated person in the role of Compliance Coordinator to assist in maintaining best practices suitable for your worksite(s).

Additions to Production Specific Department Guidance

  • Consider backups for each role when making final cast selections.

Handling of Equipment:

  • Check gear in a separate space to avoid cross contamination, when possible.

Wardrobe Department:

  • Stagger talent appointments for fittings
  • Use of antimicrobial floor mats and surfaces treated with bio-barrier coatings.

Addition to General Practices for All Worksites - Exposure Reduction - Employer: