Coronation Street and Emmerdale will go off-air in early summer after coronavirus stops filming

ITV has announced that both Coronation Street and Emmerdale may go off-air in early summer.

The two most popular soaps have already stopped filming until further notice as cast members have been told to self-isolate amid the coronavirus outbreak.

They've also reduced the number of episodes to three each week in an attempt to keep them both on screens for as long as possible.

But with the current pandemic shutting down businesses up and down the country, it's possible that the shows will run out of episodes before they're able to resume filming.

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A statement from the company explained: "The two biggest soaps on TV, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, will continue to run through the Spring and into the early Summer."

It means Coronation Street and Emmerdale may stop airing after early summer, leaving an opening on the TV schedule.

These are not the first shows to be impacted by the contagious bug as EastEnders bosses announced they had suspending filming new episodes "until further notice" on 18 March.

A spokesperson for the show said in a statement: "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."

The statement explained that the reduction of episodes will allow the BBC to keep the series going for "as long as possible".

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

While TV schedules may be changing as a result of the deadly virus, some shows will continue to air at their allotted times, including This Morning and Good Morning Britain.

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Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain's Got Talent are also set to return, although Simon Cowell's show will only air the pre-recorded auditions rather than the live finals.

In a statement, Kevin Lygo, ITV Director of Television, explained: "ITV's aims are to serve up as much information, guidance and entertainment as possible to help people to get through this extraordinary time.

"That's why we've put exciting new shows into the schedule while doing everything possible to keep our live daytime programmes on air to speak directly to you each day, along with our rock solid news bulletins.

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"We hope Saturday night entertainment like Saturday Night Takeaway, Britain's Got Talent and In For a Penny continue to entertain millions of people on a Saturday night, and factual offerings from Harry's Heroes to Gordon, Gino and Fred's Road Trip will offer some comfort and escapism in the weeks ahead.

"New dramas such as Julian Fellows' Belgravia, The Good Karma Hospital and the upcoming Quiz all aim to enthral viewers through the coming weeks.

"We've even staged our own Virtual Grand National to help you ride this out. We hope you tune in and enjoy what we have to offer."

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