Great news for Shortland Street fans: the production company has confirmed New Zealand's beloved serial drama will resume filming tomorrow, but things will look a lot different for the cast and crew.
In an interview with Mike Hosking on NewstalkZB, Shortland Street actor Ben Barrington admitted he's as "curious as anyone else" as to how filming will work under lockdown level 3 restrictions.
"Half the time our characters are kissing or in bed together – and as we have government guidelines to abide by, our characters will now need to talk to each other from opposite sides of the set."
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Despite restrictions, he said he's confident the show will look "just how it usually does".
"The crew have really clever ways of dealing with proximity when they're editing the show, and can make the characters appear closer together than they actually are."
As well as the on-screen actors, Barrington said measures have been put in place to ensure behind-the-scenes staff are also abiding by social distancing guidelines.
"We've cut down on extra actors and they'll be only a bare number of crew in the room operating cameras from two metres away. We've also all been allocated separate dressing rooms, and can only use the makeup room one at a time."
And after four weeks in lockdown, if you were hanging out for some sexy scenes between your favourite characters, unfortunately, you'll still have to wait a while.
"Storylines may have to be re-written if our characters were supposed to be 'getting intimate'," confirmed Barrington.
"You'll have to make do a with a polite chat instead."
Under level 4 Covid-19 restrictions, production of Shortland St and South Pacific Picture's other shows were shut down in line with film production being considered non-essential business.
During lockdown level 4, Shortland Street also cut down from five episodes to three a week.
Barrington confirmed this was because the show is only filmed two months in advance, so the decision was made in order to "stretch out" the episodes to make them last.
The production company says they will "uphold government guidelines" at all times while filming and producing the show.
South Pacific Pictures CEO Kelly Martin says: "Our absolute priority is to maintain the health and wellbeing of our cast and crew.
"We believe that by following the guidelines and regulations issued, and by maintaining our key workplace practices, we have created a safe working environment. We're looking forward to getting Shortland Street back up and running."