Coronavirus UK: EastEnders, Coronation Street and other soaps affected

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of life, with the TV and film industries among those affected by the outbreak.

With TV productions across the world having been suspended, even the soaps are not immune from the impact of the virus, with some taking strong measures to ensure they can remain on air.

So which soaps have been affected so far?

Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

Which soaps have been affected by Covid-19?

Here’s how the soaps have been impacted so far…

EastEnders

EastEnders announced on Wednesday that it was suspending filming in the wake of the outbreak, while episodes will also be cut down to two a week during the pandemic.

A statement from the BBC said: ‘In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on EastEnders will be postponed until further notice.’

‘We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England,’ their statement said.

‘We have also taken the decision to reduce the amount of episodes we broadcast each week to two, so that we can ensure the audience can continue to enjoy EastEnders in their homes for as long as possible.’

Coronation Street and Emmerdale

Coronation Street and Emmerdale are continuing to film, although changes are being made in order to ensure the safety of cast and crew members.

It’s been confirmed that older characters such as Ken Barlow (William Roache) and Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) will be written out for the time being, in line with government advice for over-70s and those vulnerable to the virus to remain indoors.

Scripts are also being rewritten to ban kissing scenes and other scenes involving physical contact.

Meanwhile, a new schedule from 30 March will see Corrie drop to three episodes a week and Emmerdale to five episodes a week.

Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, said in a statement: ‘Coronation Street and Emmerdale are Britain’s two most popular soaps with millions following both shows.

‘The continued transmission of both soaps is a priority for all of us at ITV and to our audiences who enjoy the shows.’

Neighbours

Neighbours has temporarily shut down production in the wake of the outbreak.

A Channel 10 spokesperson said in a statement: ‘Neighbours has decided to take a short break this week to ensure the production model in place can withstand any potential impact of the urgent COVID-19 situation

‘The health and wellbeing of everyone on the set of Neighbours will always be our priority.’

It’s hoped filming will resume on Monday, and will have no impact on the scheduling of episodes if it does.

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