Neighbours star Colette Mann says soap is "pressing on" during coronavirus pandemic

Justin Harp

From Digital Spy

Neighbours star Colette Mann is hopeful the soap will keep "pressing on" during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian series confirmed to Digital Spy that filming would resume this week with "very strict protocols in place", in spite of many other soaps shutting down.

In a new interview with TV Tonight, Mann – who plays Sheila Canning – explained what those "strict protocols" have been like to work through on set.

"We're more apart from each other in the green room and people are walking past each other and thank God all that hugging has disappeared! I'm not a fan of that, I find it really exhausting. So actually this is very positive," she joked.

Photo credit: Channel 5

"There are rules on how many people are on the set at any one time. There are sanitisation stations, you can't touch anybody, they're shooting everything in wide shot and everything, but we're adapting.

"Change is a good thing. I did seven scenes yesterday, didn't touch anyone, and I still managed to be my brilliant self!"

While Mann acknowledged that production would halt if someone in the company tested positive for the virus, the team are focused right now on "pressing on".

"As I explained to one of the kids yesterday, 'We're not in the service industry. I know you think we're giving a service to the people, but we're not'," she said. "They've stopped all the things like the Neighbours tours, and extras and all that sort of stuff.

Photo credit: Channel 5

"I love it. I'm extremely resilient and I love change. I was just getting to the 'bored' stage and now something's different!"

Here in the UK, Neighbours and Home and Away have announced plans to cut down their weekly episodes to just two in order to cope with a potential shortage in the future.

Neighbours currently airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 (UK) and 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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