Bulgarian Film Industry Safety Guidelines Under COVID-19 approved by the Ministry of Health

    This document provides the basic methods for establishing technical and organizational measures for contagion prevention.

    Each filming is different, hence specific risk-based measures need to be established BEFORE it begins. This measures are implemented according order № RD-01-262/14.05.2020. of the Bulgarian Health Authorities. http://www.mh.government.bg/media/filer_public/2020/05/13/rd-01-262.pdf
    Order №1/05.01.2018 pub. in NN 7/2018 of the Bulgarian Health Authorities https://www.mh.government.bg/bg/informaciya-za-grazhdani/informaciya-otnosno-noviya-koronavirus-2019-ncov/ 


    Tests for the acting and related professions – all actors, stuntmen and possibly extras who come into contact with the actors should prove their state of health with a negative SARS-CoV-2 test no more than 3 days prior to the start of the first work day.

    It is mandatory to test the all crew members, due to a suspected infection could endanger the entire project.

    For the tests to be relevant, it is essential that actors after testing adhere to the quarantine rules. In this context, it will be important to consider testing when scheduling filming.

    It is mandatory to test the Cast and crew members every 8th day since they started work.


    NO VISITORS: Absolutely no personnel should be permitted on set, the production office, any stages, or construction mills that does not need to be there. Only essential cast and crew will be allowed on the premises.

    Limit physical presence to essential personnel.

    Maintain 2 meters (6 feet) apart unless absolutely necessary.

    Increase physical space between cast and crew members. No crew member should be near cast, unless they are part of the Hair, Make Up, Sound, Props, or Wardrobe Departments. All should be masked and gloved when interacting with the talent.

    Discourage handshaking – encourage the use of other noncontact methods of greeting.

    Remind cast and crew to consider social distancing guidelines outside the production (e.g. refrain from traveling, visiting crowded places such as bars, restaurants, movie theaters, supermarkets, shopping malls, etc.)


    It is mandatory to follow the rules of personal hygiene during the filming!

    Hand hygiene – cast and crew should wash their hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds, when they are dirty, after sneezing or coughing, before eating, after using toilets in accordance with Attachment 2 of order № RD-01-262/14.05.2020. of the Bulgarian Health Authorities. If washing is not possible, use hand disinfectants.

    Hand disinfectant stands – stands with hand disinfectant gel need to be placed near the facilities, catering and directly on the set.

    Personal disinfection – if the scene being shot is extensive, crew members must carry pocket disinfectant wipes or a small bottle of personal disinfectant so they don’t have to leave during filming to hand disinfectant stands.

    Disinfection on locations or outdoor lots – when filming in a public space in the city and/or in a place with a high concentration of people, it’s recommended to consider space disinfection by spraying. World Health Organization does not recommend disinfection of streets and sidewalks, as a measure against COVID-19, due to the quick deactivation of the disinfectant used and the porous structure of this surface.

    Disinfection of Sound stages – at end of each shooting day, surface disinfection should be performed by spraying. If time permits and if safe it is advisable such disinfection to be performed during the work day too.

    Clean and sanitize all surfaces including high touch areas (fixtures, light switches, appliance handles, and buttons, etc.) on every 1 hour while works, as well as at the end of each work day.

    Filming in vehicles etc. – Production should provide the disinfection of all vehicles, as well as the production should secure disinfection of the fleet that carries the crew and cast on set.

    Workspace disinfection – Make-up/Hair and Costume department should disinfect their working stations and chairs for actors. Office crew should disinfect their working desks and common used surfaces.

    Equipment disinfection– Camera, Grip, Electric, Sound and other crew that are using shared equipment should undergo regular disinfection. The frequency will be dependent on the individual risk assessment.

    Costume and Props disinfection – it is important that the costumes and props undergo regular disinfection. The frequency will be dependent on the individual risk assessment.


    Face mask (protects others), Every crewmember should be obliged to wear mask or shield on set (indoors) in a way that covers its mouth and nose in accordance with Attachment 3 of order № RD-01-262/14.05.2020. of the Bulgarian Health Authorities. Applies to every person present on the shoot, including external contractors. It is recommended to
    wear the masks in outdoor areas while at work.

    Cast, Stuns and Extras must wear mask or shield when not on camera.

    Encourage people to supply their own Masks, especially if they have specific preferences. Production will provide Face mask to all personnel that do not have their own.


    Production must ensure that proper sanitary measures are being taken by the departments and corresponding equipment and space, with the assistance of the producer, department heads and managers.

    Production will designate individual(s) for overall housekeeping.

    Make-up /Hair artists must use separate set of make-ups for each main cast. Dayplayers will be asked to bring their own make up and costume if possible. Extras will be asked to bring their own make up, costume and props if possible.

    Reduce Transmission Among Employees:

    Sick people to stay home!

    People who have symptoms (i.e., high fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath and other ) should notify the production and stay home.
    Sick people should not return to work until the criteria of home isolation are met, in consultation with Bulgarian healthcare authorities.

    Said person will not be allowed to return to work until the Bulgarian health authorities report him as healed. Even though a negative PCR test document verified by the production medic will be required in order to start work again. People who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify the production.

    Separate sick people:

    People who appear to have symptoms (i.e., high fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath and other) upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other crew and sent home. If a person from the crew is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, production should inform the Bulgarian Health Authorities, as well as the crewmembers of their possible exposure to COVID-19. The production should perform immediately tests to the whole cast and crew. Production should disinfect all areas that have been in contact with the Positive to SARS-CoV-2 person, according to the prescriptions given by the Bulgarian Health Authorities


    Production should organize testing of the cast and crew once on every 8th day.

    NO VISITORS: The Production company should follow closed set protocols at all times and limiting participation to only the minimum necessary cast and crew.

    During filming – it will be important to ensure a consistent and a secure lock-up to prevent any unauthorized personnel from entering.

    Temperature measurement – every crew/cast member should undergo temperature measurement with a contactless thermometer before the start of the shooting day and before entering the shooting location. Any new incoming subcontractors undergo temperature measurement upon arrival. Human body temperature limits must be with accordance to the country specific health regulations. Daily temperature measurement results of every crew/cast member should be written in a document.

    On-site organization – it is necessary to take into account – especially in the first months – more space requirements for the use of locations in a public space, so that crew members can be separated. At the same time, sufficient space must be available for the crew to eat so they can be spaced from each other. It is advisable to give priority to portable chairs over standard benches.

    Separation of specific crew groups – key crew members, actors and other professions that are difficult to replace should be separated from the rest of the crew (e.g. they should have their own costume room, facilities, make-up room, catering area etc.). Specific measures may vary from project to project and must be processed in an individual risk assessment.

    Catering – it is necessary to make sure that food can be distributed in a take-away fashion, when each crew member moves away from the catering after taking their food, so the social distancing rule can be adhered to. It is important to ensure that crew members have enough space when eating to follow rules of social distancing (including refreshments during the day). There is no need to have more than one catering place if all meals, including main meals are packaged separately.

    Consider meal delivery to individual departments. Orders placed with catering at the beginning of each day, or the day prior.

    Eliminate self-serve areas (includes coffee).
    Do not provide snack bowls or unpackaged goods.
    Do not provide fruit that isn’t individually wrapped.
    Do not provide shared platters (charcuterie, cheese and crackers, etc).

    SANITATION STATIONS: Hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) should be visible and available in all areas of the set, the production office, and the stages. To remind the cast and crew to wash their hands with soap and water frequently in accordance with Attachment 2 of order № RD-01-262/14.05.2020. of the Bulgarian Health Authorities. Cast and crew should also be required to wash their hands with soap and water periodically (recommended every hour). Productions will provide disposable, disinfecting wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by
    cast/crew before each use. Place hand sanitizers in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene. Disinfection products should be alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol and/or such as described in Attachment 1 of order № RD-01-262/14.05.2020. of the Bulgarian Health Authorities. Before disinfection the surface should be clean. Floors can be treated with bleach-based solutions.

    Maintain good ventilation. Keep windows and doors open when possible, but open at least periodically to cycle the air.

    Disinfect transport vehicles.

    Waste management – disposable face masks, gloves, etc. must be treated as hazardous waste – the used ones to be put into separate solid plastic bags and to be handled with protective gloves and then disposed of.

    Necessary documentation – each production should have these measures implemented in its risk assessments, and they should also require this implementation in risk assessments of their suppliers. Before filming commences, production and suppliers need to become familiar with the risks and measures for filming (not only in terms of the risk of infection). This familiarization must be confirmed in writing, for example by signing the
    attendance list during the briefing training or declaration. All departments that are not specifically mentioned in the current document should apply the same basic rules described above. Each HOD is obliged to prepare a department and project specific COVID 19 guideline. It should include measures that correspond the general rules and should describe the department specific measures that will be taken based on the individual risk assessment. (e.g materials that should be sprayed or wiped or quarantined for 24 hours etc.) Each HOD is obliged to instruct the crew members from his department
    for this specifics.

    Obligations to comply with these precautions and submit SARS-CoV-2 tests must be implemented in contracts with individual members of crew, as well as any sanctions and liability for damages in case of non-compliance.

    Information boards such as below are recommended to be placed at the shooting locations.

    img src="https://www.nfc.bg/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Bulgaria-COVID-19-Film-Industry-Bulgaria-EN-2-Final-1.jpg" srcset="https://www.nfc.bg/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Bulgaria-COVID-19-Film-Industry-Bulgaria-EN-2-Final-1.jpg 1920w, /

    If one of the members of the crew or subcontractors has violated or refused to comply with the security measures taken, they would be excluded from filming. The full support from the producer will be crucial when implementing these measures.

    More information and updates available at: