The Outpost set at PFI Studios - Courtesy of Electric Entertainment - Arrowstorm - Photo by Aleksandar Letić
Joint work of members of the Serbia Film Commission, the Audio-visual Section of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Film Center Serbia resulted in document of health and safety measures and recommendations for the safe functioning of film productions during the epidemic of COVID-19 officially adopted by the Serbian Government on May 19, 2020. It is in line with recommendations of the Institute for Public Health "Batut" and serves as a comprehensive guide with recommendations that producers will be able to apply depending on the type of project and organization. The document is publicly available and its implementation should follow all other recommendations for mitigation of measures.
Health measures follow examples from the European practice of national associations and representative film authorities and organizations. They do not represent a definitive practicum for film productions, but should help productions to perform risk analysis and implement protection measures in each specific project. The recommendations consist of 24 general recommendations as well as specific measures for different sectors.
Please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or click HERE to check the latest information regarding entering Serbia
Foreign citizens are allowed to enter the Republic of Serbia provided that they have one of the following documents:
- Negative RT-PCR test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus or a negative Antigen FIA Rapid test, if the person comes from the United States of America, not older than 48 hours from the date of issue of the results;
- Certificate of complete vaccination issued by the Republic of Serbia, i.e. a foreign state with which the Republic of Serbia has concluded an agreement on the recognition of vaccination (Greece, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, UAE, Czech Republic, India, Slovenia**) or with which there is de facto reciprocity in the recognition of the vaccination certificate(Croatia, Slovakia, Georgia, Morocco, Cyprus, Lebanon, Moldova, San Marino, Tunisia, Armenia, Egypt, Germany);
- Certificate of overcome COVID-19 disease – a certificate or other public document stating that the holder of the document has overcome the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, i.e. that this person has been diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, provided that no less than 14 days or more than six months may elapse from the first test, issued by the Institute of Public Health established for the territory of the Republic of Serbia, i.e. the competent authority of the state with which the Republic of Serbia has concluded an agreement or de facto reciprocity on the recognition of such documents (Croatia, Germany, USA, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Andora, San Marino, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey, Romania).
The above entry conditions do not apply to citizens of the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Bulgaria, Hungary, the Republic of Northern Macedonia and Montenegro, when entering the Republic of Serbia from those countries which they are citizens of.
**Citizens of Republic of Slovenia that have been infected with Covid 19 virus within the last 180 days, as well as those who received the first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 within a maximum of eight months after infection, are allowed to enter the Republic of Serbia provided they hold a certificate of recovery from COVID-19.
Minors (domestic or foreign citizens) aged 12 to 18, may enter the Republic of Serbia without a negative RT-PCR test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus or a negative FIA Rapid Antigen test, i.e. without a vaccination certificate or a certificate of overcome disease, if they, within 48 hours from the time of crossing the state border, submit to the territorially competent public health institute in the Republic of Serbia, either a RT-PCR test or an antigen test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, issued by the reference laboratory of the Republic of Serbia.
Domestic and foreign citizens entering the Republic of Serbia for business reasons, with prior notification of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, are allowed to enter the Republic of Serbia provided that they submit a negative RT-PCR test or an antigen test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, issued by the reference laboratory of the Republic of Serbia, within 24 hours of crossing the state border.
The Chamber of Commerce of Serbia will submit the announcement of crossing the state border without delay to the Ministry of Interior – Border Police Directorate, no later than 24 hours before the expected crossing of the state border.
If a negative RT-PCR test or antigen test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus is not submitted within 24 hours of crossing the state border or if the test is positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce will without delay inform the territorially competent public health institute about it.
Information on security measures at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport can be viewed HERE.
As of August 24, 2020 cultural events with the presence of the audience, such as cinemas, theaters and concerts in cultural institutions are allowed with the restrictions organizers must strictly adhere to. The number of audience must not exceed five hundred. The wearing of masks is obligatory, as well as keeping a physical distance of 1.5 meter or one empty seat between people. A proper physical distance is mandated at open-air events, too.
*COVID-19 Crisis Response Team's decision regarding the allowed number of people at public gatherings doesn't refer to film productions, so the decision will not affect shootings whether they take place outdoors or in a studio.
MOST IMPORTANT GENERAL MEASURES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- Each member of the film crew is individually responsible for working while having any symptoms that may indicate COVID-19, and for following these and other general recommendations during the epidemic;
- Avoid shaking hands, hugging and greeting colleagues and practice social distancing during work, whenever possible;
- It is obligatory to wear protective equipment during the entire stay on set, except for the cast during filming;
- *Gathering in public space is limited to 200 people;
- A production member should be delegated to oversee the implementation of all protection measures during production;
- In case of suspicion or occurrence of mild symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, sneezing, cough), the team member must submit a statement of the identified symptoms, as well as a proposal for his replacement;
- It is recommended to measure the temperature when coming to work. Persons with a temperature higher than 37.0°C will not be allowed to enter facility and will be sent for a medical examination, sampling-swab of the throat and nose, PCR test and isolation until a negative result is obtained;
- Installation of disinfection barriers at the entrance to the building, work space, studio, etc is obligatory;
- Installation of non-contact disinfection dispensers for hand disinfection with a products based on 70% alcohol at the entrance to the building and film set, according to the schedule of movements in the building;
- Provide pocket dispensers of 70% alcohol-based disinfectants for all key team members, for more frequent hand disinfection;
- Create strict chain of communication and movement that minimizes unnecessary contact between different team members and movement between production offices, the base camp and on set to reduce contact with different surfaces (this means that each department is handling only equipment that is necessary to perform their work). Determine which of the team members can work from home and is not necessary on the set all the time;
- Protection measures plan is distributed to all members of the team as annex to work order;
- Each member of the team is obliged to sign the receipt of the protection measures plan and confirm that he is familiar with all the rules of protection, and that has been properly instructed how to apply measures until the end of the project;
- Production will place in formation on health protection measures in visible places in common areas (make-up room, catering area, corridors, entrance to the building) and can use general protection measures in English or posters in Serbian;
- Report any change in your health condition (sore throat, fever, sneezing, coughing, etc.) to the medical staff at the film set;
- Provide personal protective equipment for all team members according to the job description specification, degree of risk and length of stay on the set;
- It is very important to properly dispose garbage and a number of positions so that hygiene is maintained in accordance with the recommendations for cleaning and disinfection of the area where COVID-19 patients did not stay;
- Perform as many activities as possible in the pre-production period remotely and through online conference systems.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT THAT PRODUCTION NEEDS TO PROVIDE
- Protective medical masks
- Visors for the hair and make-up, costume and sound department
- Protective non-sterile gloves
- Hygienic products for space maintenance
- Hygienic products for individual use (composition: soap and disinfectant with 70% alcohol)
- Trash bins for disposal of used masks and other PPE should be placed next to the entrance/exit doors. All waste that includes used masks and gloves is disposed in a bag that must be carefully tied before disposal in a container
RECOMMENDED METHODS OF ADDITIONAL PREVENTION (DEPENDING ON GENERAL MEASURES TO BE PRESCRIBED)
Testing team members before filming
Testing of local team members is mandatory for those team members who will be at a distance of less than two meters during filming and will not be able to wear a protective mask due to the need to film the scene (cast, stunts, H&M, costume).
PCR tests for corona virus, at the personal request of Serbian citizens and foreign nationals, will cost 6,000 dinars (50 EUR) throughout Serbia. Testing is still free for students and minors.
PROTECTION MEASURES IN STUDIO
- Before and after each project, studio space must be thoroughly cleaned
- Wherever is possible, place physical barriers / partitions for protection
- Make sure that the space is well ventilated (natural ventilation) several times a day
- The presence of crew members on set in both studio conditions and on locations are limited to essential crew members with remote monitoring provided to others with established communication channels
All transport service providers are obliged to follow the recommendations for public transport:
- It is recommended to use own vehicle car/motorbike/bicycle when transporting to the film set
- For transport of groups in a van, it is recommended that everyone wear masks and gloves
- Before and after each transport, the vehicle should be disinfected and ventilated
- The team transported by van has an assigned driver who exclusively drives the same people throughout the project
- It is recommended that props brought from different sides be stored in a central place where they are thoroughly cleaned or disinfected before use
- All picture vehicles must be disinfected before shooting
Hair and Make-up
Follow the official recommendations for hairdressing and beauty salons:
- Enhanced hygiene measures in the make-up room, all items, furniture and tools used between different people
- Provide personal make-up brushes and hygiene products for each actor
- Make-up artists, hairdressers, stylists, costume assistants may wear goggles or visors due to the close contact with the actors
- Lunch is served exclusively in individually packaged meals (buffet serving stile is not acceptable)
- Self-service is not permitted, people who work in catering will be serving drinks and lunch
- Drinks are served strictly in individual bottles, it is recommended that they are labeled to reduce the possibility of confusion among team members
- Self-service coffee stations, snacks, fruit and snacks that are not individually packaged (bulk snacks) are not acceptable. Only individually packaged products will be allowed
Serbia Covid-19 Recommended Protocol for Film Crews