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What new lockdown rules mean for your favourite TV shows

Will the winter schedules be affected by Covid guidelines?

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 05 November 2020 10:22 GMT
Claudia Winkleman makes lockdown quip on Strictly Come Dancing

Boris Johnson announced last weekend that England will enter a four-week lockdown from Thursday (5 November) to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

On Saturday (31 October), the prime minister revealed the new guidelines during a live press conference.

These new rules and restrictions will replace the current three-tier ‘traffic light’ system after government scientists showed the prime minister papers predicting that coronavirus deaths this winter could surpass the 85,000 in what has been called the “worst case scenario”.

"Our hope was that by strong local action, strong local leadership, we could get the rates of infection down where the disease was surging," Johnson said, adding: "The virus has been spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers”.  

He continued: “I’m afraid, from Thursday, the basic message is the same: stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives."

Many were left wondering what this meant for the world of entertainment, namely live TV shows that are set to be broadcast this winter.

These include BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, as well as ITV shows Loose Women and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, which is set to begin in Wales later this month.

The Independent contacted both the BBC and ITV following Johnson's broadcast to find out the official word.

BBC said that it "will continue to adhere to government guidelines" while ITV said that "no announcement" has yet been made about the status of its shows, although I’m a Celebrity’s launch date has since been set for 15 November.

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It's worth noting the guidelines as they stand should ensure these programmes will be able to continue.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are set to return for ‘I’m a Celebrity’ later this month  (Rex Features)

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted: "The changes mean people should WFH [work from home] where possible.

"But where this is not possible, travel to a place of work will be permitted – eg this includes (but not exhaustive) elite sport played behind closed doors, film & tv production, telecoms workers."

This means that pre-recorded shows, including soaps EastEnders and Coronation Street, as well as other scripted dramas, will be able to be filmed should on-set regulations be met.

Find the rumoured line-up of this year’s <i>I’m a Celebrity</i> here.

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