The BBC has suspended filming on EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak.

 

The number of new EastEnders episodes being shown each week is being reduced to two – with rival soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale also cutting the number of shows they broadcast each week.

Filming on all BBC Studios’ continuing dramas has been halted following the latest government advice on tackling COVID-19, the corporation said.

In a statement, 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.

The decision was made after the latest government update.

We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.

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.

EastEnders episodes will now air on Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 7.30pm.

The suspension of filming also affects BBC dramas Doctors, River City and Pobol y Cwm.

EastEnders is filmed months in advance, which means TV bosses still have episodes to air.

Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty, two of the UK’s biggest TV dramas, have also put filming of their new series on hold.

ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale will continue filming in Manchester and Leeds.

However, their schedules have been changed with Emmerdale now airing Monday to Friday at 7pm and Coronation Street Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7.30pm.

A statement said: With this change of transmission pattern it will ensure we have great new soap episodes coming to air every weekday night until at least the early summer.

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Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Question Time have announced they are to air without studio audiences due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The makers of the Voice UK said the semi-final and final of the talent show would now take place later this year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Britons to avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres and to only make essential journeys in the national fightback against coronavirus.

Anyone with a high temperature or a persistent cough who lives alone has been told to self-isolate for seven days.

Entire families – or households of more than one person – are also being told to stay isolated together for 14 days if one of them displays either of those symptoms.

Seventy-one people have died in the UK after testing positive for COVID-19, with 1,950 cases confirmed in the country.

(c) Sky News 2020: Coronavirus: Filming of EastEnders suspended until further notice