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‘Friends’ reunion special put on hold due to spread of COVID-19 pandemic

'Friends' cast (L-R):, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc in 2000.
'Friends' cast (L-R):, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc in 2000. CP Images Archive

The Friends reunion special has been put on hold due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Variety confirmed the news that filming of the special has been delayed. It was due to begin filming next week, but now production is being pushed back until May at the earliest.

The reunion special was announced in February, and on the 16th anniversary of the American sitcom’s heartfelt finale, the cast of Friends was supposed to be reunited once again for the one-off special.

READ MORE: Confirmed: ‘Friends’ reunion special coming to HBO Max

Jennifer AnistonCourteney CoxLisa KudrowDavid SchwimmerMatt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry were officially set reunite onscreen in 2020 for the unscripted Friends reunion exclusive to HBO‘s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.

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Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for COVID-19' Coronavirus outbreak: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for COVID-19
Coronavirus outbreak: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for COVID-19

On Friday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. (PT), each of the stars — with the exception of LeBlanc, 52 — took to Instagram sharing an identical promotional image from the smash-hit ’90s comedy series which showed the six beloved characters together, confirming they had all signed a deal with the media giant.

The images were all captioned, “It’s happening…,” including LeBlanc’s, who, instead, posted an image of some of the cast members from M.A.S.H. as a joke.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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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.

— With files from Adam Wallis

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