Film Guidelines in San Mateo County & Silicon Valley

The San Mateo County Film Commission continues to assist in issuing permits to productions seeking to engage in film production within San Mateo County and Silicon Valley in accordance with the Order of the Health Officer.

In order to film in San Mateo County, production teams must meet the following COVID-19 filming guidelines:

  • Crew, cast, and personnel on the location are limited to the fewest number of people needed (up to a maximum of 25 people). Productions may have more than 25 people working on their project but a max of 25 can only be in one location at a given time. A location is defined as an area where the production is staging, prepping, filming, or wrapping.
  • All crew, cast, and personnel on location must comply with social distancing, face covering, and sanitation requirements as noted in the Order of the Health Officer.
  • If filming outdoors, talent can remove face-covering while filming but must remain 6 feet from another talent, crew, personnel, and the public at all times. Note: singing is not allowed outdoors unless the singer is at least 30 feet from all crew, cast, personnel, and public.
  • If filming indoors, the location must be (and remain) closed to the public in addition to the applicable requirements noted above. Note: no one is allowed to remove face coverings for interior locations, including talent, under the current Order of the Health Officer, and singing is not allowed indoors.
  • Cast, crew, and personnel arriving to/from location must wear facial coverings and maintain 6 feet distance, to the extent possible, from each other while in transit. If traveling in a vehicle, windows should be left open whenever possible to increase ventilation.
  • At this time, make-up application is not permitted due to the necessary removal of the face-covering by the talent and close proximity to the make-up artist. Hair is allowed, provided talent, and hairstylists both wear face coverings.
  • No indoor catering/ craft service. Productions can do "walking lunches" outside only – they can be given pre-packaged meals and eat separately, maintaining at least 6 feet from anyone else., OR they can be provided money to purchase their food from a local restaurant doing take-out and delivery, which supports our local businesses.
  • For Hair & Make-up services, and filming indoors, cast member(s) who will be removing their Face Coverings (indoors or out) must receive a negative nucleic acid diagnostic test for COVID-19 within 72 hours before the shoot starts.
  • Currently, there is no filming past 10 pm.

For more information and film permitting assistance, please contact our Film Liaison, Karla Najera, at or call us at 650.348.7600.


We have identified two amazing COVID testing resources that we highly recommend: Lookout Health a local Redwood City-based company that can provide rapid and reliable COVID-19 screening services for your event or workplace, and they also offer a testing concierge service where you can get singular tests at your home, office or hotel room; and Discovery Health Services, who can provide on-site wellness services including COVID-testing for groups.


Additionally, for all non-emergency and non-medical inquiries, please call 2-1-1. This service is available 24/7 in 180 languages.