Neighbours is resuming filming with social-distancing measures in place - here’s how it will work

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 2:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 2:54 pm
Soaps in the UK have temporarily paused production due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, but long-running TV soap, Neighbours, is due to begin filming again next week (Photo: Shutterstock)

Soaps in the UK have temporarily paused production due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, but long-running TV soap, Neighbours, is due to begin filming again next week.

It is believed that Neighbours, which suspended production two weeks before Easter, is the first of the TV soaps to begin production in the English-speaking world - and the show getting back to work will help to pave the way for other programs.

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However, certain measures have been put into place, with not everything going back to how it was before when production resumes.

Social-distancing on set

Physical distancing measures on set will be put into place, and the studio will be split into quadrants - with an operational hub, three distinct production teams and only three actors allowed to cross between the units.

There will be no kissing or holding hands, and the cast and crew will be isolated into three distinct groups. Camera trickery will also be used to make physically-distanced actors look closer together than they actually are.

Chris Oliver-Taylor, the chief executive of Neighbours' production company Fremantle Australia, said, "It's going to look a bit odd. [But] Neighbours is a show that can get away with it.

"We employ hundreds of staff who want to work and feel they can. It's important we continue to produce a show that reaches millions of people in the UK and a significant audience in Australia.

"What we need now is escapism, Australian stories - and I'm sure our British friends want the Australian sun."

There will be no more than 100 people a day in any area during filming, and a four square metre rule will be implemented, alongside a one and a half metre social distancing rule.

There will also be a nurse on set and different catering for everyone.

Elsewhere in Australia, the filming of around 119 films and TV shows have been suspended. This includes TV dramas, two big Marvel movies and a Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic, starring Tom Hanks.