ITV announces Coronation Street and Emmerdale filming suspended amid coronavirus fears
22 March 2020, 15:19
Filming on ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be suspended from Monday due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement from the broadcaster said its staff had been working hard to ensure filming continued "whilst adhering to the Government's latest health guidelines".
It said enough episodes have been recorded to see both soaps through until the early summer.
The statement said: "ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday March 23.
"We've been doing our best to carry on filming, whilst adhering to the Government's latest health guidelines, to ensure we've episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer.
"However, the health and well-being of the production teams, actors, crew and their families is of paramount importance to us and we now feel that the time has come to stop filming.
"We'd like to thank our viewers for their support and hope they continue to enjoy both soaps in the coming months."
Earlier this week, the BBC suspended filming of EastEnders.
The latest official figures released on Saturday showed the number of people across the UK who have died after testing positive for Covid-19 has risen to 233, with 53 more deaths in England, two in Wales and one in Scotland.
The Government and health officials have urged the 1.5 million people in England considered most at risk from the disease because of their health conditions to begin "shielding" themselves by staying at home.
Letters will go out this week "strongly advising" them not to go out for at least 12 weeks from Monday.
The Government has also announced a new local support system to ensure people self-isolating at home without support networks can have basic groceries delivered.
Military planners, already helping councils and local resilience forums in their responses to the outbreak, have been centrally involved in setting up the new network.
Those being urged to stay at home include people who have received organ transplants, those severe with respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and severe chronic bronchitis (COPD), and with some cancers such as those of the blood or bone marrow.
They also include some - though not all - of those receiving certain types of drug treatments including those which suppress the immune system - leaving the body less able to fight off the virus.
Where possible, they will receive regular text messages containing advice and guidance on how to manage their condition while at home, including having prescriptions delivered and accessing support for daily living.
Those living with them are urged to "stringently" minimise any personal contact.