Coronation Street and Emmerdale, two of Britain’s biggest soap operas, have officially ceased production as a result of the nationwide lockdown called upon by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
News of the suspension of the Manchester-filmed series was confirmed by ITV in an official statement on Sunday, which cited “the Government’s latest health guidelines” as the main reason for its decision.
The statement read: “We’ve been doing our best to carry on filming, whilst adhering to the Government’s latest health guidelines, to ensure we’ve episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer. However, the health and well-being of the production teams, actors, crew and their families is of paramount importance to us and we now feel that the time has come to stop filming.”
“We’d like to thank our viewers for their support and hope they continue to enjoy both soaps in the coming months,” added the U.K. television network.
On March 23, ITV issued an additional statement announcing that it would now be playing only three new episodes per week as opposed to the regularly scheduled six starting on March 30, potentially giving Canadians a chance to catch up on the popular broadcasts.
As of last Monday, Loose Women — a popular, all-female talk show — also joined the roster of British series affected by the novel coronavirus.