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Rural Artiste COVID-19 safety protocols for Film and High-end TV drama:


Rural Artistes is committed to the safety of all artists and crew. 


This version Dated: 01/09/2020 – guidance will be updated with any further guidance from the BFI/HSE/DFH and ScreenSkill.


For the duration of this document “artiste” is inclusive of background artiste/cast members. 


COVID – 19:  Rural Artistes Risk Assessments and adjustments 


Rural Artiste will risk assess against the following guidelines recommendations for production companies and make full adjustments to support the COVID- 19 safety procedures. This can include/is not limited to:


  • Rural Artistes will provide the “production company” with the following risk assessment of each artiste’s health against the NHS Symptoms list for the previous past 14, 7, 3 days, and 24 hours before filming. 

  • If they display symptoms testing is advised immediately and an alternative stand-in sent to the Production company.

  • A standby list will be created to ensure that the production is not slowed. Artistes/Stand by Artiste will complete the same risk assessment and training pre-filming. In order to comply with this Rural Artiste would need a minimum of 2 weeks -notice of filming requirements to ensure the checks are in place. 

  • Checking if locations can fulfill the social distancing requirement, even in areas crowded with equipment and/or furnishings?

  • Where possible can locations accommodate additional workspaces for essential crew and services and working areas can be securely isolated from the public.

  • Minimizing fitting days and limiting number of Supporting Artists.

  • Briefing and fitting remotely where possible.

  • When working with crowds on set, where possible the production company will consider: -

  • Minimizing the number of supporting artists and Costumers in the dressing area at any one time - Asking supporting artists to dress themselves-.

  • Allowing extra time and space for checks/dressing and re-dressing.

  • A dedicated costume area in the holding area, to reduce contact and movement to/from Costume Department. 

  • Where possible, the cast should receive their costume in a screened-off cubicle and dress without assistance. Where assistance is unavoidable, avoid face-to-face positioning during fittings. 

  • To help reduce cross-contamination risk:

  • Sanitize and ventilate changing cubicles between use –

  • Separate individual cast members’ costumes in plastic bags 

  • Hang cast members’ own clothes inside a clean plastic cover –

  • Launder costumes between each use and cover individually in plastic covers after cleaning k. Consider using an isolated Buyer to purchase costumes, fabrics and other materials –

  • Place items in storage for quarantine or leave at sanitization station for thorough cleaning

  • One or more fixed teams of professionals throughout a production, or for specific periods of production, to work together while minimizing the risk of transmission beyond these fixed groups.

  • Pre-registering all visitors and new starters to speed up site access and limit interaction times or allowing extra time to prepare and safely admit artistes - Applying a socially distanced queuing procedure to sign artistes in and out.

  • Conducting health screening on arrival within individual production zones.

  • Making provision for queueing/waiting area.

  • Conducting a temperature check with a designated COVID-19 officer.

  • Avoid social crowd scenes where the UK Government’s social distancing requirements cannot be observed or use existing industry technical solutions to reduce the number of supporting artists required.

  • Rural Artiste should be given a briefing on the production’s COVID-19 protocols to share with Supporting artists, and Rural Artiste will ensure that supporting artists acknowledge receipt of those protocols prior to work commencing.

  • Allow extra time to receive supporting artists on-site for COVID-19 symptom checking and briefings.

  •  - Ensure the required social distancing is adhered to wherever possible - Keep supporting artists in place for as little time as possible.

  • Avoid face-to-face positioning.

  • Block-booking professional supporting artists for continuity or multiple-use (ensemble casting), to reduce the overall number attending set.

  • Asking supporting artists to wear their own clothes and do their own hair and make-up – see costume section.


COVID-19 Symptom response plan:


  • The Production company is to provide: a designated isolation space in which to artistes if they feel unwell or shows symptoms - if suitable transport is not immediately available.

  • The Production company to send the artiste back home in a taxi - as a secured supplier and ask them to seek medical advice from the NHS.

  • If testing proves positive, NHS Track and Trace will contact those affected. 

  • Testing will be arranged for all r members of their household who show symptoms, to avoid unnecessary self-isolation and delays in diagnosis.

  • No Rural Artiste should stay in the workplace while awaiting testing. 


In order to comply with data protection, Rural Artiste will ensure:


  • Identification of what additional personal data will be collected with respect to addressing COVID-19, most likely this will be collecting information from cast/ and temperature testing 

  • Artistes must have a temperature check the night before and on the day of the shoot. This will be undertaken by a dedicated COVID- officer, who will be at the designated meeting point of the shoot. The dedicated COVID Officer shall be wearing a full military standard mask with a full temperature check before the start. Any vulnerable potential artiste with pre-existing conditions, such as severe Asthma, autoimmune conditions, and as specified by NHS guidelines should not attend set without signing a legal disclaimer and gaining a sign off from their GP to attend. 


COVID-19 Health and Safety training for artistes


  • All artistes to complete COVID-19 Specific Health and Safety (H&S) Training and Awareness a COVID-19 Safer Working induction training must be undertaken online by all cast and prior to their work commencing.


  • This covers best practice in general principles, including - Social distancing, and hand and respiratory hygiene requirements - Department-specific needs (including essential instances of close-proximity working) 

  • Awareness of mental health and wellbeing at work during the pandemic - Accessibility and inclusivity in COVID-19 safer working practices.


Rural Artistes provides a mental health and wellbeing e-learning module for artistes, this has specific case studies relating to anxiety. 


  • Rural Artistes can specific production company standards via an e-learning video. 

  • Support is signposted to the Film and TV Charity operates a 24-hour support line in the UK - 0800 054 0000. 

  • Further local support such as Mind in Bath is provided to all artists.


COVID-19 Travel and pre-fitting.


Castings/fittings/make-up and hair can be done at home via Skype/Microsoft Teams or Zooms should the production require this.

  • Using private self-drive transport where possible, e.g. cycles, motorcycles, own car, walking – if this cannot be done to contact Rural Artiste on booking a taxi.

  • Using privately hired transport such as taxis or minibusses if private transport is not available or viable, first checking the suppliers’ social distancing and good hygiene practices, e.g. plastic screen separating the driver from passengers.

  • Setting maximum occupancy limits to vehicles to observe social distancing = only one household per taxi.

  • Avoiding the sharing of vehicles.

  • Using public transport only as last resort, with users maintaining social distancing and good hygiene practices, and avoiding peak times where possible.

  • Using local artiste, to limit travel time.

COVID- 19 and GDPR considerations:


  • GDPR: Identify suitable lawful bases for collecting this personal data. Consent will likely not be the applicable lawful basis and we would advise that legitimate interests are relied upon as well as necessary to comply with employment obligation with respect to personal data relating to health. 

  • GPPR Compliance: Update Artistes privacy notices and consider including signage at the entrance to premises to notify people of additional processing of personal data for COVID-19 related purposes.

  •  Ensure staff collecting information understand data protection concerns.

  • Additional personal data collected is kept suitably secure and with restricted access.

  • Ensure that such personal data is not retained for any longer than is necessary.


COVID-19 Confidential reporting


  • Adhere to required COVID-19 safe practice; all artistes should be made aware of this before commencing work.

  • A confidential reporting system that allows for cast and crew to raise COVID-19 safety concerns; the system and contact details should be publicized around the site to ensure crews are aware and understand its use.

Extra guidance to artistes:

Guidance to Artiste, all artistes are is provided with downloadable guidance sheets on handwashing, social distancing, self-awareness, and expectations of the production company.

Social distancing - Adhere to the production companies’ markers, fail to do so will result in removal from the set and the agency.

Whilst booked on the filming dates, artistes must limit contact where possible with their immediate household bubble and take extra precautions with hygiene and self-temperature checks.

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