Filming of EastEnders suspended until further notice
The BBC has suspended filming on EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The number of new EastEnders episodes being shown each week is also being reduced to two.
Filming on all BBC Studios’ continuing dramas has been halted following the latest government advice on tackling COVID-19, the corporation said.
In a statement, the BBC said: “In light of the spread of COVID-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on EastEnders will be postponed until further notice.
“The decision was made after the latest government update.
“We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.
“We have also taken the decision to reduce the amount of episodes we broadcast each week to two, so that we can ensure the audience can continue to enjoy EastEnders in their homes for as long as possible.”
EastEnders episodes will now air on Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 7.30pm.
The suspension of filming also affects BBC dramas Doctors, River City and Pobol y Cwm.
EastEnders is filmed months in advance, which means TV bosses still have episodes to air.
ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale have not yet halted filming but Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty, two of the UK’s biggest TV dramas, have put filming of their new series on hold.
Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Question Time have announced they are to air without studio audiences due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Loose Women and The Voice have also taken the same measure.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Britons to avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres and to only make essential journeys in the “national fightback” against coronavirus.
Anyone with a high temperature or a persistent cough who lives alone has been told to self-isolate for seven days.
Entire families – or households of more than one person – are also being told to stay isolated together for 14 days if one of them displays either of those symptoms.
Seventy-one people have died in the UK after testing positive for COVID-19, with 1,950 cases confirmed in the country.