Channel 5 have today announced that Home and Away will be reduced to two episodes per week due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
From Monday 30th March, both Home and Away and Neighbours will only air on Mondays and Fridays.
Furthermore, on those days, only the afternoon showing of Home and Away will air, in its usual timeslot of 13:15.
The evening showing at 6pm will not continue whilst this reduced schedule is in place. Channel 5 are keen to point out that this is only a temporary measure and the show will revert to airing twice-a-day once the schedule returns to normal.
The first-look airings on 5STAR will continue at 18:30 as normal on Mondays and Fridays.
The news comes three days after it was announced that Home and Away was being taken off-air in Australia temporarily, in order to provide extended news coverage. The show is currently slated to return to Australian screens on Monday 13th April.
Home and Away had already halted production over the weekend. In a statement, the network confirmed that no cast or crew had tested positive, but production was being shut down as a precaution.
Seven Studios advised today that it would halt filming of Home and Away immediately. It confirmed that no cast or crew had tested positive for COVID-19, but that the decision was made due to the increasing logistical hurdles related to the COVID-19 situation.
With the UK currently running six weeks behind Australia, it was inevitable that Channel 5 would take measures to maintain the transmission gap, particularly since the show has only been broadcasting four episodes per week in Oz.
Before the production halt, a number of actors and crew had taken part in their first virtual rehearsals via video-conferencing.
Stars Penny McNamee (Tori), Emily Symons (Marilyn) and Georgie Parker (Roo) were amongst those who posted photos of the online meeting with the show’s directing team.