Members of the Big Brother Germany household are in for a surprise on Tuesday when they find out about the novel coronavirus outbreak for the first time.
The contestants have been living in the house, disconnected from the outside world, since Feb. 6.
As such, they had no idea what was happening outside the four walls of their home in Cologne — not even about COVID-19. When they first moved in, cases were only located in China.
The show’s host, Jochen Schropp, and physician Andreas Kaniewski will be speaking to the contestants during a live special, Variety reports. The talk will follow a “consultation with relatives.”
Broadcaster Sat.1 came under fire on social media for keeping the 14 men and women in the dark over the virus that has since overtaken the globe.
Furthermore, four new residents, according to BBC, joined the show on March 9 and were told not to talk about the coronavirus.
The Guardian reports that the show has been using “special hygiene measures” and would only tell participants if one of their relatives was affected, according to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Big Brother Canada houseguests, meanwhile, were recently told about the pandemic and all chose to remain on the show.
The Toronto-shot series has eliminated its live studio audience and heightened on-site sanitation and other precautionary safety measures.
The eighth season of Big Brother Canada debuted with 16 Canadian contestants March 4 on Global — before the virus outbreak was declared a pandemic.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.