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Home and Away

You know they belong back together... The cast of Home & Away officially return to film after nine weeks in lockdown

More lights, more drama, please.

By Jess Pullar
In March, the world went into lockdown with an air of deep uncertainty.
Events were postponed and cancelled, businesses were closed and our foreseeable future was confined to our homes.
It was a measure most necessary given the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was jarring all the same to see the stark transition that occurred in our everyday lives.
But one thing, albeit sporadically, remained true - Home and Away continued to serve up a healthy dose of drama on our screens each weeknight (bar a few weeks where a special COVID-themed news broadcast took its slot), and we've never been more grateful for the familiarity.
Of course, there was just one small issue here. Like most workplaces, the set of Home and Away, based in Sydney's idyllic Palm Beach and on set at Channel Seven's Eveleigh studios was shut down temporarily as cast members remained isolated like the rest of the country.
A solid backlog of episodes has aired all the way through, thankfully, but the bank is exhaustible, and it was only a matter of time until they ran out of fresh content.
Lucky for us, we won't have to wonder what kind of devilry would ensue should we be deprived of the latest drama from Summer Bay - because as Australia makes steps towards reopening in a new normal, the Home and Away cast have begun returning back to the set.
The cast were forced to rehearse via Zoom as they remained in lockdown. (Instagram)
First on the job? None other than Emily Symons, who plays beloved character Marilyn on the show.
Sharing a sweet on-set snap on Monday evening, Symons wrote on Instagram: "First day back after nine weeks! So happy to see my Home and Away family again especially you @sheldonfx."
Her makeup artist pal Sheldon is seen in the background of the selfie wearing a face mask.
A new normal, indeed - but still managing to create our favourite 7pm guilty pleasure!
Emily shared a candid behind the scenes snap as she returned to the set after a nine week hiatus. (Instagram)
In the comments section, fans and friends alike shared their excitement to see Emily back on set.
You may even recognise one, Lynne McGranger, who plays Irene wrote to Emily: "Can't wait to see you again my friend."
Another fan commented: "Keep safe good to see you back on five days a week ❤️"
How do we "like" this more?
Home And Away announced it would resume filming earlier in the month, taking on a new framework and story lines in order to protect the cast and crew from the virus.
"A range of measures will be in place to minimise risk for cast and crew, to be overseen by dedicated safety officers," a Seven spokeswoman told the Daily Telegraph.
"The measures include temperature checks on arrival, increased hygiene practices and rigorous cleaning schedules."
"Scripts will also be reworked to reduce close contact, in constant consultation with the cast and crew to ensure the health and safety of all."
WATCH: A Home & Away fan goes wild on Tik Tok from lockdown. Story continues...
Despite the show going into lockdown over the last two months, the cast have still found plenty of ways to keep busy.
Ada Nicodemou, who played Leah, and McGranger, who plays Irene even started a book club (a virtual one, nonetheless), as they worked through the turbulent time.
Speaking to Now To Love, Ada explained: "I love reading a book and then being able to discuss it."
"Not being able to do that is like going to the movies and watching a great film then not being able to share it with others."
Thus, Ada and Lynne's book club was born - to wild success.
"A lot of people are getting inspired to read through watching us do it and talk about, which is lovely," she commented.

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