HOLLYOAKS will only air three episodes a week from next week but vows to keep filming amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The popular soap is filmed at Lime Pictures in Liverpool and currently airs every week night on Channel 4 followed by the next day’s episode on E4 – but bosses have made changes to keep it on air as long as possible.
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They have also made the decision to air old episodes if they do eventually run out.
Hollyoaks press office told The Sun Online: “We are planning ahead to make sure Hollyoaks stays on air for as long as possible.
“As we continue to monitor the current situation and follow PHE advice in order to continue filming safely for the time being, we will make changes to the schedule so that from next week Hollyoaks episodes will be broadcast Monday to Wednesday on Channel 4 and E4.
“In the event that we have to take a break from filming we will look to revisiting some favourite episodes from recent years so Hollyoaks fans don’t miss out.”
The news comes a day after EastEnders announced they had halted production due to the pandemic.
An EastEnders spokeswoman told The Sun Online: “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.”
Holby City, Casualty and Doctors have also all stopped filming with immediate effect.
Scottish drama River City has also been pulled from production as has Welsh soap Pobol y Cwm.
Coronation Street has vowed to keep filming for now but has reduced the number of episodes per week.
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The ITV soap will be dropping three episodes per week – all of its 8.30pm episodes have been axed – while Emmerdale will be losing one.
Emmerdale will now air weeknights at 7pm while Corrie will follow at 7.30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
The change will allow the soaps to stay on air until July – even if production has to be shut down.
The death toll from coronavirus has now reached 104 in the UK with confirmed cases up to 2,226.
Yesterday Boris Johnson announced schools will close from Friday with A-Level and GCSE exams cancelled.