With Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, going back into a six-week lockdown due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, many have wondered what this means for filming on the long-running Neighbours – particularly as the largest number of cases are based in Victoria which is where the soap films.
Well, it seems to be good news for cast, crew and fans as there are no plans to halt production on the soap that is the only one to have filming largely unaffected; as well as being one of the first English-speaking productions in the world to get back to work.
A statement given to The Huffington Post by Fremantle Australia, the production company that runs the show, said: “Neighbours will continue under its current production model adopted when Stage 3 restrictions were first introduced in Victoria. The strict health and safety measures we have adhered to for the past 11 weeks will be maintained, ensuring the well-being of our cast and crew remains intact.”
RadioTimes.com reached out to UK broadcaster Channel 5 who also confirmed that it is “full steam ahead” for the production of the show.
The show has developed innovative ways of not only keeping the show on the air but ensuring that cast and crew are safe from infection. There are teams in place that keeps groups separate whilst camera tricks and the use of certain filming angles has played a part in not making social distancing seem too obvious.
Speaking about the moves made to resume filming back in April, Fremantle said that: “There will be no more than a hundred people a day in any area, we’ll implement the four-square-metre rule and the one-and-a-half-metre social distancing rule.” The grouping plan means that if someone does get sick, it will only be that group that would have to go home while the other two can continue to work.
Lockdown has impacted other soaps around the world with both Hollyoaks and EastEnders taking a break while cast and crew get back to work to film new episodes.