21-05-2020

Lithuania Prepares to Resume Filming

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Lithuania Prepares to Resume Filming copyright: Go Vilnius

VILNIUS: The Independent Producers Association of Lithuania (NPA) and LAPA Lithuania have developed guidelines to resume filming in Lithuania. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania approved them on 18 May 2020.

The main recommendations are that only healthy people can participate in the filming. Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms is not permitted on set. It is recommended to limit physical contact as much as possible, maintain distances and use personal protective equipment. Filming should re-start at the beginning of June.

There is a lengthy list of procedures for producers to follow to ensure that sets meet COVID-19 related requirements. They include enabling required social distancing of 2 meters between each individual on set. If physical contact is necessary, it is advisable to limit the contact time. During rest and meal breaks a distance of at least 2 meters or contact no longer than 15 minutes should also be maintained.

If filming takes place in open spaces (markets and other public outlets) and in public interior shoots, all staff and participants over the age of 6 must wear protective equipment covering the noses and mouths. Such protective equipment may be waived only if a person is unable to wear it due to the specifics of the work.

The guide says that all people on set are required to adhere to health measures to minimise the spread of the virus. Alcohol hand sanitizer must be provided at all entry points and common areas, and information on proper hand hygiene must be distributed. Regular set cleaning needs to take place, the rooms should be aired at least once in an hour with the windows wide open.

Hair and make-up professionals must wear a disposable medical mask during procedures. Buffets are not permitted. All meals must be served as single serving portions, priority should be given to takeaway food, and members of the film crew should use individual dishes.

Kęstutis Drazdauskas, Chairman of the Board of Independent Producers Association, member of the European Producers Club and the founder of Artbox said, „This guidance, which is quite liberal, provides production companies with a shared set of principles to keep staff, cast and crew safe during filming. We are slowly restarting national production, as the Vilnius Film Office renews the issuance of filming permits. Lithuania has so far avoided the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so I truly hope that it will be one of the most attractive filming destinations in Europe“.

Lithuania reopened borders with Latvia and Estonia from 15 May. Poland and Finland might be included in the common movement zone in the near future. As of 30 May, the Lithuanian government is allowing indoor and outdoor events with up to 30 participants.