The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Sunday released the Standard Operating Protocol for resuming work in the media production industry, amid the coronavirus pandemic. “The general principles behind the SOP will help create a safe working environment for cast and crew in the industry,” minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted.

According to the SOP, face masks will be mandatory in all public spaces and workplaces, except for actors facing the camera. Make-up artists and hair stylists should wear personal protective equipment. Persons handling common equipment should wear gloves, the SOP said.

There should be provision of hand sanitizer at entry point in work areas, and spitting must strictly be prohibited. Thermal screening should be done at all entry points. The cast and crew should also practice frequent hand washing. The workplace should be frequently sanitised.

The SOP said that employees at higher risk, such as the elderly and those with co-morbities, should not be given frontline work requiring them to work with the public. The cast and crew should observe physical distancing of six feet at all times as far as possible. The seating arrangements should also be made with considerations of physical distancing.

The SOP said there should be crowd management in parking lots and outside the premises during production. It added that there should be specific markings with sufficient distance to manage queues in premises. Transactions for tickets should be done online or using QR Codes.

The ministry’s directives said that if any person on the premises tests positive for the coronavirus, the premises should be disinfected. All cast and crew must monitor their own health and report illness immediately. There should be temporary isolation of suspected cases.

“‘Contact Minimisation’ is at the core of the SOP,” Javadekar said. “This will be ensured by minimal physical contact and sharing of props, PPEs for hair stylists and make-up artists among others.”

On Saturday, the Ministry of Home Affairs had released the SOP for international travel on non-scheduled commercial flights under the Vande Bharat Mission and air transport bubble arrangements.

India’s coronavirus tally on Sunday breached the 30-lakh mark after the country reported 69,239 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 912 to 56,706. Of the overall tally of 30,44,940, India now has 7,07,668 active cases while more than 22 lakh people have recovered from the infection.