Neighbours SHUTS DOWN over coronavirus fears

BREAKING NEWS: TV soap Neighbours SHUTS DOWN over coronavirus fears

The set of hit TV soap Neighbours has been shut down over coronavirus fears. 

On Wednesday, Network 10 and Fremantle Media said the health and well-being of the cast and crew was a priority, and the filming would be halted.

‘Neighbours has decided to take a short break this week to ensure the production model in place can withstand any potential impact of the urgent COVID-19 situation,’ a Network Ten spokeswoman said.

BREAKING NEWS: The set of hit TV soap Neighbours has been shut down over coronvirus fears, a Network Ten spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday

BREAKING NEWS: The set of hit TV soap Neighbours has been shut down over coronvirus fears, a Network Ten spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday

‘The health and well-being of everyone on the set of Neighbours will always be our priority,’ the statement concluded. 

The decision to stop production – which is based in Nunawading, Melbourne – was made in a meeting with the actors and crew held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss concerns about the pandemic on Friday, Ten Daily reported.

Neighbours’ shut down is expected to last until next Monday and the disruption is will not impact of the show’s on-air schedule. 

The spokeswoman said in a statement: 'Neighbours has decided to take a short break this week to ensure the production model in place can withstand any potential impact of the urgent COVID-19 situation'

The spokeswoman said in a statement: ‘Neighbours has decided to take a short break this week to ensure the production model in place can withstand any potential impact of the urgent COVID-19 situation’

This comes after actress Madeleine West, who stars in the long-running drama confirmed on Wednesday that preventative measures are already being enforced.

The mother-of-six, 39, wrote in her column for 9Honey: ‘Even out here in the iconic lot, we are now feeling the coronavirus pinch as our studio goes into lockdown.’

‘We were notified via a stern email on Monday that kissing and hugging, the hallmarks of a great soap, have been outlawed in favour of handshakes. Yesterday saw contact further reduced to elbow taps,’ she said.

'We are now feeling the coronavirus pinch': Actress Madeleine West also confirmed on Wednesday that preventative measures are already being enforced

‘We are now feeling the coronavirus pinch’: Actress Madeleine West also confirmed on Wednesday that preventative measures are already being enforced

Madeleine added that makeup artists are now wearing hazmat suits and face masks to avoid direct contact with the actors.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison banned indoor gatherings of more than 100 people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, scenes that used to require many extras, such as weddings and funerals, now just have three people in the background.

Madeleine said the most ‘distressing’ aspect of the COVID-19 safety measures has been the fact many of the new rules aren’t environmentally friendly.

Working at home? Madeleine also shared a photo to Instagram of a Skype conference call with Neighbours staff, which she captioned: 'Apocalyptic production meetings'

Working at home? Madeleine also shared a photo to Instagram of a Skype conference call with Neighbours staff, which she captioned: ‘Apocalyptic production meetings’

To reduce the spread of the virus, disposable cups are being used instead of KeepCups and all meals are being served on disposable plates. 

Paper towels and wet wipes have also replaced tea towels.

On Tuesday, Madeleine shared a photo to Instagram of a Skype conference call with Neighbours staff, which she captioned: ‘Apocalyptic production meetings.’

There are 556 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia as of Wednesday afternoon. Six people have died so far, with five in the state of New South Wales. 

Pandemic: There are 556 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia as of Wednesday afternoon. Six people have died so far, with five in the state of New South Wales

Pandemic: There are 556 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia as of Wednesday afternoon. Six people have died so far, with five in the state of New South Wales

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