ITV soap Coronation Street has confirmed it will resume filming on Tuesday 9th June 2020, following an enforced break in production due to the UK pandemic lockdown since March.
However, older cast members and those with underlying health issues will not be returning to the set as of yet.
From 1st June the induction process on the studio’s new stringent health and safety measures begins, in accordance with the government’s recently-issued guidelines on TV production.
The soap will keep to the current transmission pattern of three episodes a week, cut down from the regular six in March to ensure the programme remained on air for as long as possible while filming was suspended.
With a filming date confirmed, it ensures Corrie will remain on air without a transmission break as was feared, as the new episodes will be scheduled directly after programmes completed before shooting stopped shortly before the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March.
Cast and crew over the age of 70 or with underlying health conditions will not be back on set in the initial period of filming. ITV says it will follow individual risk assessment process for anyone who falls into a clinically vulnerable category to determine when it is safe for them to return.
Among other regulations in place at the Manchester studios in MediaCityUK are daily temperature checks for cast and crew, a ‘fixed cohort’ system with crew members designed to a specific area of the set, both interior and exterior, intensive daily cleaning and sanitisation of sets and props, along with make-up and costume working remotely with cast.
Other roles which can be performed remotely will continue, so staff who are office-based can carry on working from home if they already are, in order to minimise the amount of people in the building.
Producer Iain MacLeod says: “The whole team has pulled together to generate an ingenious, intricate set of protocols to allow filming to restart as safely as humanly possible.
“We are really pleased to be able to resume making the nation’s favourite soap at a time when people need the reassurance of their regular Corrie fix more than ever.
“Safety remans our number one priority and we are under no illusions about the challenges still facing Gus and the nation as a whole. However, I can assure viewers that Corrie’s ever-present humour and brilliant storytelling will be there in abundance in the episodes due to begin filming next week and beyond.”
MacLeod has previously confirmed the coronavirus pandemic will be acknowledged in scripts when Corrie returns to reflect the changes to viewers’ lives, but will not dominate storylines.
ITV soap stablemate Emmerdale announced on 28th May it will continue to broadcast uninterrupted, following the show’s phased return with six lockdown episodes produced under new social distancing and safety guidelines.
From the week of 8th June there will be two episodes, Mondays and Wednesdays, for a three week period, and by the week of 29th June the third Friday instalment will be reinstated, which will be the transmission period for the foreseeable future.