EASTENDERS will continue filming despite government warnings over social contact amid the coronavirus crisis.
A spokesman for the BBC soap told The Sun Online it will not alter its production schedule following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's televised speech yesterday.
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The PM shut down mass gatherings and urged everyone to stop non-essential travel and contact with others.
He said that means all Brits (around 66million people) staying out of pubs, clubs, theatres and cinemas for weeks – and potentially months into the summer.
All who can can should work from home, he said.
The over 70s, those who are pregnant, and anyone with underlying health conditions (around 20million Brits) should try not to leave their homes if they can, and avoid crowded spaces immediately.
This will continue for the “long haul” – likely weeks or months.
And those with severe illnesses like cancer (around 1.4million Brits) must start cocooning themselves in their homes and get food delivered in from this weekend.
Rival dramas Emmerdale and Coronation Street could be 'forced down to two episodes a week' because of coronavirus.
The pandemic is currently gripping the nation and ITV bosses have held talks about how to cope with it and keep the shows on our screens.
Both soaps air six times a week and are shot a number of weeks in advance, but bosses are working to put a plan in place in case cast members get struck down by the sickness.
One option would be to reduce the number of episodes being screened each week to ration out the episodes already in the can until the crisis eases.
One Coronation Street cast member has already self-isolated over virus fears after returning from holiday earlier this month.
However, the unnamed actor has since been cleared to return to filming on the Cobbles.
A show insider told The Mirror: "The rationing of episodes is a sensible bet.
"But the bigger problems would come if they can’t get people behind, or in front of the camera to make new ones.
"If that was the case for an extended period they’d simply run out of episodes.
“That is an eventuality no one wants but is something that could happen.”
However a representative for both soaps previously told The Sun Online: "Our priority is the well being and safety of all our colleagues and everyone who works with us on our shows and across our production.
"Clearly, along with everyone across the country, we are in a developing and dynamic situation with respect to the coronavirus, so we’re taking the appropriate steps.
"We’ve looked at our procedures and our established contingency plans and we’re confident that we’re able to continue with our filming schedule."
Bosses also said the health and wellbeing of cast and crew is paramount.
The statement added: "In terms of our colleagues, our aim is to do everything we can to support anyone affected. We’re keeping a close eye on the situation and putting our people first."
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