EastEnders fans left confused as Queen Vic is still open for business despite pandemic

Adam White
·2-min read
Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders (BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)
Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders (BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)

EastEnders fans are confused as to whether Albert Square is experiencing the coronavirus pandemic, as the Queen Vic is still open for business.

The BBC soap opera has made reference to the pandemic in recent episodes, but there has been no mention of the UK-wide lockdown.

The famous pub in which the residents of Albert Square regularly mingle has also not been closed, along with the famed Kathy’s Cafe, despite real-life pubs and restaurants being forced to shut their doors.

In an episode broadcast this week (12 February), one character mentioned needing to grab his mask before heading to the shops. Other storylines have included Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) working as an NHS nurse and referencing the pandemic.

Yet viewers have questioned why characters are still congregating in the Queen Vic.

Read more: EastEnders using CGI and real-life partners as body doubles to resume filming during pandemic

“Are EastEnders not in lockdown with the Queen Vic open & a party going on!!” wrote one puzzled viewer. “No masks worn either…”

Another asked: “Queen Vic – only pub open in the country. Rolling on the floor laughing.”

EastEnders can’t make up its mind about the pandemic lol,” tweeted another viewer.

BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes
BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes

A BBC spokesperson confirmed that Albert Square is experiencing the pandemic, but that episodes are filmed too far in advance to directly parallel its stories with the shifting lockdown rules.

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“Whilst references to Covid have been made, it would be impossible to accurately reflect the ever-changing situation without re-filming months of content,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“We decided to continue making the drama our audience expects, providing much needed escapism.”

EastEnders is broadcast on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on BBC One.

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