This is how coronavirus will affect your favourite TV shows

Friday, 13th March 2020, 2:38 pm
Updated Friday, 13th March 2020, 2:39 pm

As the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus continues to spread across the UK, individuals are already taking measures to distance themselves from the public - but what will live TV shows do?

Across the UK, slightly different advice has been given about congregations of large amounts of people. While Scotland has banned gatherings of over 500 people, in England there are not yet any restrictions on gatherings of people.

Despite of this, some live TV shows are thinking carefully about how to manage the coronavirus outbreak responsibly, with many opting to film without an audience.

Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway

The hit show, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, did have plans to to fly 300 of their viewers to Disney World Orlando on 4 April for a live show.

However, in light of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, the show have now said they will "monitor the evolving Covid-19 situation very carefully" in order to keep their audiences as safe as possible.

ITV is reported to have contingency plans in place as the situation develops.

One of these contingency plans could involve having the show go ahead without a live audience to minimise the risk of virus transmission. The show would then be broadcast as normal to viewers at home.

However, since the news that all Disney theme parks have been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the programme may not be filmed at all.

Filming without an audience

Removing the audience from the studio is a tactic some other shows and performers have taken as coronavirus has spread around the world.

Several of America's late night talk shows, such as Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers have decided to go ahead without their usual live audiences.

The popular Ellen DeGeneres Show will also shoot without a live audience for the foreseeable future. British musician, James Blunt, took the same tack, performing to a concert hall in Hamburg without an audience.

The BBC admitted that there is a chance some of their output may have to be scaled back in the event of staff being off ill with coronavirus.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But.similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Should I avoid public places?

Most people who feel well can continue to go to work, school and public places and should only stay at home and self isolate if advised by a medical professional or the coronavirus service.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.

When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS