"Now, it is our turn to be responsible"
The Indian film industry has been given the green light by the Maharashtra government to commence with shooting for films, television dramas, advertisements and so on.
As India enters the fifth phase of the nationwide lockdown, Bollywood can rejoice as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has permitted the return of shooting with stringent guidelines.
The Maharashtra government issued a set of Standard Operating Procedures [SOPs] in the Guiding Principles to Restart Entertainment Industry in Maharashtra document.
These new regulations have been put into place to ensure Covid-19 safety measures are being adhered to.
The SOPs have been advised by the Producers’ Guild and Federation of Western India Cine Employees [FWICE].
The Maharashtra government guidelines outline the factors to manage “Covid-19 Risks on the Set/Studio and Edit facilities”.
“Following would be addressed in the session:
- Awareness about the novel coronavirus
- Symptoms & stages of infection
- Tests (for symptomatic employee) & tests centres around your areas
- Promote regular handwashing, sanitisation and contamination control
- Promote good respiratory hygiene.”
In addition, guidelines have also been set for “production office/trailer/tents
- Consider utilising larger tents with portable A/C or heat in lieu of trailers/motorhomes wherever possible.
- Avoid having more than 5 people in trailers at one time.
- Keep windows and doors open to increase ventilation.
- Deliveries should be handle outside of an office or any closed space and wiped down/sprayed with sanitising solution.
- When possible use disposable, ecologically friendly flatware, plates and cups.
- Place sanitising wipes at printer station if there is a community printer/copier.
- Continuously disinfect remote controls, light switches etc.”
One of the most important regulations which the Maharashtra government has proposed is that the number of on-set crew members has been minimised to 33% at a time.
According to chairman and Indian Film & Television Producers’ Council, JD Majethia said:
“I want to thank Uddhav ji on behalf of the entire entertainment industry. We had a Zoom meeting on May 22  and here we are today!”
“He has accelerated the process [to restart the entertainment industry]. Now, it is our turn to be responsible and not to disappoint our government.”
It was further mentioned that those who wish to film in other cities or districts will have to seek permission from the Maharashtra government.
Undoubtedly this decision has been applauded by the entertainment industry after the lockdown was implemented on March 19, 2020.