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Thursday 2nd April 2020

EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale may face suspension amid UK coronavirus outbreak

The soaps' filming schedules may be affected

EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale could face being taken off air if the UK coronavirus crisis continues.

Rumours circulated over the weekend that Coronation Street would be cut to two episodes a week.

The Sunday Mirror claimed that filming restrictions could mean the show would be forced to ration episodes or risk running out.

It's unlikely Coronation Street can keep up the pace (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Coronation Street fans criticise soaps for being out of touch with coronavirus

With Coronation Street and Emmerdale airing six episodes a week each and EastEnders putting out four, it's a big ask to keep the cogs turning under current conditions.

So could the shows be suspended?

We're confident that we're able to continue with our filming schedule.

One Corrie star was already reportedly in self-isolation since returning from holiday, although it has since been revealed they have been cleared to return to work.

Over the weekend, Coronation Street's Alan Halsall, who plays Tyrone Dobbs, sugggested he was self-quarantining.

Tyrone could be off Corrie screens for a while (Credit: ITV)

With new government directives urging people to work from home where possible and socially distance from others, large numbers of TV and film productions, including Line Of Duty and Peaky Blinders have postponed filming.

Other shows such as Loose Women are filming without their studio audiences.

And Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway is set to be shown with pre-recorded material so the series can be finished as scheduled, although plans to screen live from Florida have been shelved.

With the output of the soaps so high filming will almost certainly be disrupted, but a spokesperson for EastEnders has confirmed to The Sun Online that the soap will keep filming for now.

The show will go on for EastEnders for now (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Coronation Street fans wish Geoff ill after coronavirus 'mention'

ITV has also insisted in a statement they are "confident" production can keep rolling.

The statement reads: "Our priority is the wellbeing and safety of all our colleagues and everyone who works with us on our shows and across our production.

"Clearly, along with everyone across the country, we are in a developing and dynamic situation with respect to the coronavirus, so we're taking the appropriate steps.

"We've looked at our procedures and our established contingency plans and we're confident that we're able to continue with our filming schedule.

"In terms of our colleagues, our aim is to do everything we can to support anyone affected. We're keeping a close eye on the situation and putting our people first."

But with heavier restrictions coming into place almost daily, can they really keep the machine ticking over at such a pace for long?

The next episode of Coronation Street airs on Wednesday, March 18 at 7.30pm.

Emmerdale will return on Tuesday, March 17 at 7pm.

EastEnders airs on Tuesday, March 17 at 7.30pm.

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