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Neighbours

Neighbours is set to resume filming amid the coronavirus pandemic

It's believed to be a world-first.

By Bella Brennan
Beloved Aussie soap Neighbours is set to resume filming next week after temporarily halting production last month in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However it will be a very different set-up in order to protect the cast and crew from the virus.
Instead of working the corona crisis into the plot, the show plans to isolate the cast and crew into three separate groups, there will never be more than three people in a scene and it will have a strict policy on no hand-holding or kissing scenes, the ABC reports.
"It's going to look a bit odd," chief executive of Neighbours' production company Fremantle Australia Chris Oliver-Taylor told the ABC.
"[But] Neighbours is a show that can get away with it," he added.
"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."
Confirming the show would run out of of banked-up episodes by mid-June if they didn't return to filming, Oliver-Taylor also revealed the male cast won't wear any make-up as another way to prevent close contact.
"We've got a nurse on set, different catering for everyone, males will have no make-up, women's [make-up] will not be touched up, there are no intimate scenes," he said.
The show will be enforce strict new rules around filming, including isolating the cast into three distinct groups. (Image: Channel 10)
There will also be strict measures enforced on the number of cast and crew allowed on the Melbourne-based set.
"There will be no more than 100 people a day in any area, we'll implement the four-square-metre rule and the one-and-a-half-metre social distancing rule," Oliver-Taylor explained.
Adding: "We're going to assume if someone does get sick we don't need to shut the entire shoot - we just close that group and carry on."
According to the ABC, Neighbours is the first English-speaking show in the world to return to filming in the aftermath of the coronavirus.
The long-running soap temporarily halted filming in March. (Image: Channel 10)
If the new production model works, many other local shows may follow suit and return to filming.
Neighbours was one of many Australian shows to halt production as a preventative measure during the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March.
"Neighbours has decided to take a short break this week to ensure the production model in place can withstand any potential impact of the current COVID-19 situation," a statement from Network Ten and Fremantle Media said last month.
"The health and well-being of everyone on the set of Neighbours will always be our priority."
Other shows impacted by the pandemic include Home and Away, The Bachelor and Who Dares Wins.

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