The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted production on U.K. broadcaster ITV’s long-running popular soaps “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale.”
“‘Coronation Street’ will pause filming from next Monday, Jan. 25, for two weeks to undertake some rewriting of stories and scripts as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic,” an ITV spokesperson told Variety.
“We will also be taking the opportunity to review all health and safety requirements to ensure we continue to provide a safe working environment for the cast, crew and production team.”
The spokesperson noted that the pause in filming won’t affect the six episodes of the show that air per week.
Meanwhile, production on “Emmerdale,” which had paused last week due to a number of COVID-19 cases, will resume Jan. 25.
“We paused filming on ‘Emmerdale’ last week due to some members of the team testing positive for COVID-19,” the spokesperson said. “We’ve carried out proper track and trace measures on those cases and undertook intensive cleaning of the production building, whilst reinforcing the health and safety protocols we have in place. We’re returning to filming from this Monday, 25 January.”
“This pause in filming will have no impact on our ability to continue to broadcast six episodes of ‘Emmerdale’ each week.”
The ITV news comes as the pandemic appears to show the first signs of shrinking in the U.K. The virus is measured by the ‘R’ number and if that number is below one, the virus is considered to be in retreat. U.K. scientific advisers revealed on Friday that the the virus is reproducing at a rate of between 0.8 and 1, below the ‘R’ number.
“There is variation across the country with R estimated to be below one in areas that have been under tighter restrictions for longest,” the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement.
However the statement also urged caution. “Cases remain dangerously high and we must remain vigilant to keep this virus under control, to protect the NHS and save lives,” the statement said. “It is essential that everyone continues to stay at home, whether they have had the vaccine or not.”
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