Australian soap opera 'Neighbours' to resume filming, but actors will stay 1.5 metres apart

Camera trickery will be used to make it look as though actors are closer in proximity than they actually are

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04:  (L-R) Actors Tippa Black, Sam Clarke, Adelaide Kane, Alan Fletcher, Casting Director Jan Russ, Dolly Editor Bronwyn McCahon and actor Ryan Maloney pose together after Clarke and Kane were announced as the winners of Dolly Magazine?s national search to find two new Neighbours cast members, at Global Studios on August 4, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. Dolly launched their competition for a girl (aged 12 to 16) and a boy (aged 15 to 18) to become new Neighbours cast members, and out of the 7000 entries, Clarke and Kane were picked and each win a minimum 3 month contract with the popular Australian soap.  (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
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Australian soap opera Neighbours is set to resume production following a month-long coronavirus shutdown.

The cast and crew will return to the set of the long-running soap next week, but new social distancing rules will be in force.

There will be no physical contact in scenes, with actors remaining at a safe distance at all times, and the show will not use any extras in the background of shots. Instead, crew members will step in.

The studio will be split into “quadrants” when filming resumes, said ABC, and camera trickery will be used to make it look as though actors are closer to one another than they actually are.

"There will be no more than 100 people a day in any area – we'll implement the four-square-metre rule and the one-and-a-half-metre social distancing rule," said Chris Oliver-Taylor, chief executive of Fremantle Australia, which produces Neighbours.

“We’re going to assume if someone does get sick we don’t need to shut the entire shoot, we just close that group and carry on.”

It comes as Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the country is on the road to recovery, with new cases of Covid-19 almost stamped out following a month of lockdown.

The rules barred people from being within four square metres of one another, apart from those in the same household.