covid protocol

A new way of shooting.

Covid-19 has posed many challenges and has forced us to think creatively in our approach. Productions won’t be the same as they were before, but our enthusiasm and ability to shoot both on location and in the studio hasn’t faltered.

We are allowing for more preparation time for shoots. This ensures that every stage of your shoot not only runs smoothly, but is as safe as possible.

We have digitised the majority of the pre-production and have tried and tested the technology to ensure that it provides an effective way of working.

We factor in contingency plans for your shoot to prepare for every eventuality.

Safety on set is a must and we have developed a strong Covid Safety plan with everything from Covid testing, health declarations and PPE to the break-down of equipment at the end of the day. This will help us to prevent the spread of the virus, whilst ensuring a comfortable and effective working environment for all on set.

Catering has changed but is as delicious as always. We continue to provide as much as we can whilst remaining firm on our commitment to look after our planet by reducing waste and carefully selecting the food packaging we use.

We continue to strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible and are finding ways to work Covid-safely whilst reducing waste and our carbon footprint.

Perma Collective is committed to continuing to help the advertising industry become greener and more environmentally aware. Lockdown provided us all the opportunity to adjust our working processes in order to help reduce the carbon footprint of all shoot productions.

We are committed to ensuring the welfare of both those directly involved within our productions and the wider public.

Covid Supervisors

All shoots to have a covid supervisor onset to manage the welfare of crew, client, agency and talent. A Covid Supervisor should have specific covid training and is responsible for the following:

COVID Risk assessment (To be shared with whole team prior to shoot)

  • Health declarations 72 hours before each shoot
  • Covid testing (PCR + Lateral Flow) as required
  • Temperature checks on arrival
  • Ensuring all protocols are adhered to throughout the shoot
  • Safety briefing at the start of each shoot day
  • Ensuring H&S + Covid signage is clearly visible
  • Cleaning all touch points regularly
  • Ensuring wash/sanitising stations are accessible to all
  • Ensuring PPE is worn when required

All Perma Collective producers have been given Covid-specific training, provided by First Option Group safety consultants, and have passed the APA Covid Supervisor exam.

Perma Collective manages the immediate team that report to us.

If you have a question on the Covid working processes, please contact us. If we can’t answer the question for you, we can pass it onto First Option Safety Group for their advice.

All shoots will have a specific Covid-19 Risk Assessment written and shared ahead of the photo shoot. All heads of department should write a Covid-19 specific risk assessment, detailing their work flow, the risks involved and their resolve to ensure a safe workplace for all.

Example: The stylist, The HMUA and Digital operator (for when handling eq)

Safety Briefings 
Ahead of any production, Covid-specific protocols and Risk assessments will be shared along with the call sheet and shoot information. 

Increased Signage 
In order to enforce and remind everyone of the protocols, clear signage is displayed in all areas of the location.

All Talent are vulnerable on set as they are unable to wear PPE whilst shooting. We will ensure that their welfare is considered at all stages in the process.

Minimising Risk To Talent

In order to keep all Talent safe, we have come up with the following solutions and suggestions:

  • Use existing cohabiting groups such as real families, flatmates, real couples etc. or to shoot people individually.
  • Pencil a backup to our first choice talents. We will allow additional costs within our model fees to cover backup talent.
  • Covid testing both ahead of the shoot and on the day to ensure our sets remain a Covid safe space. 
  • H&MU and Styling must wear full PPE when in contact with Talent and have strict hygiene protocols to adhere to.

Holding Room

Waiting/ holding areas should be large enough to provide Talent with space to socially distance and they are encouraged to take regular fresh air breaks. All waiting rooms are provided with hand sanitiser. Masks must be worn when not on set.

Talent should be given clear instruction on safeguards and what they can and can’t do.

Talent should be provided PPE and be given instruction as to how to wear it and specifically when they should wear it. Sanitiser and cleaning wipes should be accessible in the green room.

Points of Contact
Styling teams and production should be the main point of contact with the Talent.

Signage should be clearly visible in the green room/holding areas. 

By maintaining a hygienic environment and wearing the correct PPE for the correct job, we are still able to work very well as a team on set.

Taking Responsibility for Ourselves and Reducing Waste

In order to keep yourself and fellow crew safe whilst reducing the amount of waste created, we will be advising everyone to manage their own PPE and carry certain items with them to set. A list of items is sent in advance to all attending the shoot.

Hygiene – Washing Hands Is Your First Defence
Enhanced hygiene procedures should be in place across all departments. Crew are asked to wash hands regularly with soap and water. If this is not possible or practical, then we request you use an antiseptic hand gel. Sanitiser will be made readily available at all locations.

Covid Safety Items Provided By The Production Company
A provision should be in place, to provide general cleaning kits for all departments. Eco products are preferred providing they are fit for purpose. Our kits will consist of:

  • Anti bacterial spray
  • Blue roll tissue
  • Alcohol-based cleaning solution for equipment
  • Alcohol wipes for your electronic devices
  • Hand sanitiser
  • PPE Bins / Compost bins / Recycling bins

We will also carry supplies of face masks (N95/FFP2), shields and gloves.

Crew Personal PPE & Sustainability Kit
In order to keep yourself safe whilst reducing the amount of waste created, we strongly advise everyone arriving to shoots to carry the following items with them: 

  • A mask (face covering to and from set)
  • A cotton mask for travel to and from location. It needs to be at least 50% cotton and should be washed at 60 degrees.
  • Hand sanitiser and moisturiser
  • A reusable cup and water bottle
  • Flask of hot drinks – Easier if you want decent coffee
  • A small pouch/box that can be placed on your work zone table for your gloves
    and mask when not in use. (To avoid putting them directly on the table)
  • A carabiner or lanyard to attach your mask to yourself when not wearing it
  • Alcohol wipes for your electronic devices

Sanitation Stations
Wherever possible, sanitising stations will be erected at convenient points throughout the production area – to include all points of entry and common areas.

PPE Effectiveness
PPE is only effective when used properly. We will advise all persons on set to wash and sanitise hands regularly as a first defence. Wearing gloves is a secondary defence.

How To Apply PPE Properly (FO)

Before putting on a mask, clean hands with soap and water or alcohol based hand wash.

  1. Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  2. Avoid touching the mask while using it – if you do you must clean your hands immediately.
  3. Replace the mask as soon as it is damp and do not reuse single use masks.
  4. To remove the mask, remove it from behind using the elastic – Do not touch the front of the mask – discard immediately in a closed bin or wash reusable masks at 60 degrees. Clean hands immediately after touching used mask.

Enhanced PPE
Crew who have direct contact with the talent such as the wardrobe stylist, must sanitise their hands regularly and wear a mask and face shield when in close proximity to the talent (i.e, within the styling room). We are able to provide all PPE needed for this.

Information Shared On Set
Posters and informative signage will be placed around the studio and the location. Reminders will be given through our shoot briefings and throughout the shoot if cast or crew forget.

We are working closely with the First Option Group, taking into account governmental and NHS advice in order to provide a safe and hygienic working environment.

Health Declarations

A health declaration will be sent to all attending our shoots. This document must be signed and returned before you arrive on set. Anyone with a temperature of 37.8 degrees celsius or higher will be required to return home safely and a contingency plan will be implemented.

Crew Responsibility
It is extremely important for the wellbeing of all involved, that if you show or feel symptoms of Covid-19, that you self-isolate at home and take a PCR test.

Personal Protective Equipment
We recommend that all persons coming to set, do so with their own supply of correctly fitted personal protective equipment. *N95/FFP2/3 Masks.

Production Supplies
Production will carry supplies, to be provided if needed, and sanitiser, anti bacterial sprays and PPE will be accessible at all times.

Overseeing Of Safety Protocols
Our on-set protocols will ensure that all high risk areas are managed appropriately with our Covid Supervisor overseeing and managing our safeguards.

Wardrobe and Makeup are the two departments most impacted by COVID and are areas that offer the most risk of transmission between persons. We have worked with these departments in order to create a workflow that is as safe and comfortable to work in as possible.

Departmental Risk Assessment

We request that all Heads of Department share a covid-specific risk assessment ahead of the shoot. This will be shared with, and/or incorporated into, our master production risk assessment. Each department must understand the risks to themselves, to other crew and especially to the talent. 

We would like all conversations regarding styling and props to be managed and signed off ahead of the shoot itself, allowing only minor creative alterations to be decided on set.

Virtual Fittings
Stylists will work with the creative teams to define a mood board and then host virtual pre-fittings with all shortlisted talent, to run through what wardrobe they have, and what wardrobe is suitable for us to use.

Please consider which hosting platform you will use and how long you will need with each talent.

Clients are advised that clothes purchased may be non-refundable / returnable. Our policy is to re-home anything that cannot be returned, once it is safe to do so.

Live Fittings
If required, we will host a live fitting for our approved talent.

We believe hosting a fitting is a brilliant way to allow these conversations to happen. A fitting will help ease the pressure on set and enable the styling teams to follow the advice given on best practice.

All conversations regarding wardrobe will take place and be signed off in advance of the shoot to create a smooth running production. As always, we will allow enough options to ensure we can dress the talent to best suit the locations.

Working On Set
Working with our stylist, we will develop a consistent workflow that allows both stylist and talent to work safely on set, keeping the welfare of both persons at the forefront of our processes.

Managing Your Own Equipment
All crew are to manage their own equipment and to keep their belongings within their ‘zone’.

Wardrobe and Makeup are the two departments most impacted by COVID and are areas that offer the most risk of transmission between persons. We have worked with these departments in order to create a workflow that is as safe and comfortable to work in as possible.

Departmental Risk Assessment

We request that all Heads of Department share a covid-specific risk assessment ahead of the shoot. This will be shared with, and/or incorporated into, our master production risk assessment.

Each department must understand the risks to themselves, other crew and especially to the talent.

Physical contact
Makeup artists must work within the APA guidelines, wearing both mask
and shield (Tier-2 PPE).

We would like all conversations regarding HMUAs to be briefed/managed and signed off ahead of the shoot itself. If required, our HMUA will have a video call ahead of the shoot to discuss the approach.

Managing Your Own Equipment
All crew are to manage their own equipment and to keep their belongings in their personal ‘safe zone’.

Enhanced PPE
Crew who have direct contact with the talent such as the wardrobe stylist, are advised to both sanitise their hands regularly and to wear a mask and face shield when in close proximity to the talent (i.e. within the styling room).

Crewing Up
Appropriate number of crew will be optioned when planning the shoots Additional makeup assistants may be required to ensure 1:1/1:2 Ratio.

One head of Makeup and a number of MUA’s working on a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 for speed and efficiency.

We recognise that our makeup artists play an important role settling in our talent. We would encourage friendly conversation between talent and stylist, from a safe distance, and in a well ventilated space. When you are ready to apply makeup, you should do so efficiently whilst wearing 2-Tier PPE.

Equipment is normally handled by many. Our protocol for photo teams, allows them to continue to work effectively as a team, whilst preventing cross-contamination by handling the same equipment or getting too close to one another.

Specific Job Assignments

Assistants will be given specific jobs to manage and will have sole responsibility over those roles, for example, only the lighting assistant will set up and move lights and light stands.

Extra Equipment For Safe Working
In order to work safely, we will need to provide extra equipment, such as extra keyboards for the photographer and digi, or extra monitors on set so that a safe distance can be maintained between crew.

The need for radios will be analysed on a shoot by shoot basis. Radios to be correctly sanitised, labeled and given to crew to manage. On multi- day shoots, covert kits (microphone and ear pieces) must be kept by crew overnight and reused the next day. Radios will be sanitised at the end of each day when returned to production.

Hired & Owned Equipment
Hired & photographers equipment will be cleaned prior to the shoot.

Managing Your Own Equipment
All crew are to manage their own equipment and to keep their belongings in their personal ‘safe zone’. Photographers are advised to manage and clean their own equipment.

Location houses offer the most risk and as such should have strict policies and clear instruction to ensure a safe working environment.

Unit base

Where possible, we should set up a crew unit outside the location, using Pop-up tents or production vans, only allowing minimum crew into the house.

Wherever possible, location houses should be zoned off into departments, shoot spaces and hygiene facilities. If this is not possible, alternative arrangements will be made, specific to the location in question and will be detailed on the shoot risk-assessment.

Crew must sanitise their hands before and after using the toilet. Masks should not be left on surfaces. If removed, they should be placed in a PPE bag or attached to one’s person, such as with a clip.

Toilets and bathrooms should be cleaned after every use. Crew should be advised and signage should be clearly visible.

We will not compromise on quality and are still able to provide hearty, individual meals. As a part of the producer’s shoot briefing, all crew will be told how meal times will work and how to get hot and cold drinks.

Meals and Snacks

Catering will be provided in individually packed compostable boxes labeled with the name of each crew member. All those attending are advised to bring snacks to set for personal consumption.

Tea and Coffee
If serving tea and coffee on set, we have a protocol for one member of our trained production team to be able to safely serve tea and coffee to crew in their own cups.

Sustainable Catering
All persons attending the set will be asked to bring their own water bottle, travel cup and, ideally, reusable cutlery. This prevents cross contamination and has a big impact on the amount of waste we produce on set. Production will have some additional supplies if required.

We are following the advice not to move around unless necessary and are able to use the technology we have to effectively navigate working together whilst physically apart.

Virtual Communication

All communication in the run up to a shoot, including castings and fittings will take place virtually, using the available technology.

Appropriate Crew Sizes
Our crew numbers will be designed around the needs of the shoot and what is best suited to deliver the creative output effectively and efficiently.

Across all shoots, both large and small, we will request that only those who are required on set attend and we will ensure we have a remote viewing system in place for both client and agency unable to attend.

Live Streaming
We will advise that technology is used to share the creative, in real time, to our agency and clients. We have tried and tested this technology with great success.

As public transport is currently a high risk way to travel, we must factor in budgeting for transport for crew and talent. Where reasonable, we will suggest that crew members travel to set on foot or by bike.

Travel Advice

All those attending the shoot have a responsibility to travel to set safely and in line with Goverment advice.

Preferred Modes Of Transport:

  1. Walk
  2. Cycle
  3. Personal car
  4. Private hire (Bolt Protect, Addison Lee or Black Cab)


We have considered our policy based on the sterilisation policies of private hire companies. Addison Lee and London Black and cabs both allow distance between driver/passenger and both have a covid policy in place. Bolt “Protect” vehicles also have a protective screen between driver and passenger. We would generally advise against UBER as we can not control to what extent the driver has cleaned their vehicle between passengers. All drivers MUST wear face masks.

We will increase the travel allowance to compensate crew if required. 

For more information on our policy, please email or call us. 

This policy has been developed in line with recommendations from the APA, the AOP and First Option Safety Group.