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Strictly boss says contestants who test positive for COVID-19 will be eliminated instantly

It is one of numerous safety measures implemented this year.

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Published: Monday, 28th September 2020 at 1:00 am

Contestants on Strictly Come Dancing who test positive for COVID-19 will be eliminated from the competition immediately, the producer has confirmed.


The series is going ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the producers have had to make several changes in order to minimise risk of spreading the illness.

There will be fewer contestants than usual in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up, with couples isolating for the duration so that they can remain in close contact.

Strictly has been able to retain its studio audience, but it will be smaller in order to allow separate groups to be appropriately distanced from each other.

Even with these measures in place, there is still a chance that a celebrity contestant or professional could catch coronavirus, and fans have wondered what would happen under those circumstances.

Executive producer Sarah James told press including that any contestant who tests positive for COVID-19 would be instantly removed from the line-up of this year's series.

"Unfortunately if you receive a positive test, that means you wouldn’t be able to continue in the competition," she said. "Obviously with government guidelines, if you receive a positive test you have to isolate for two weeks and that would unfortunately rule them out of the show."

Steps have been taken to reduce the amount of contact between each couple, including a radical format change to Claudia Winkleman's interviewing area.

Usually, the entire Strictly cast can be found there, crowding around their peers after a performance on the ballroom floor, but this year only one couple will be permitted in the Clauditorium at any one time.

As a result, if a pair were to leave the competition after catching coronavirus, other contestants on the show could hopefully continue uninterrupted.


Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year. While you’re waiting, visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what's airing this autumn and beyond.


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