United Kingdom

No sex please, we're afraid of the rona: Sex scenes could vanish from Australian TV  

Sex scenes could disappear from Australian television screens because actors will need to adhere to social distancing in a post-coronavirus world. 

The screen industry has issued a set of COVID-19 guidelines as the cameras once again begin rolling on film and television productions around the country. 

The framework means scenes that involves being close physically - such as parties, fights, and sex scenes will change dramatically. 

The 41-page guideline document suggests productions should employ an 'intimacy coordinator' to oversee any raunchy scenes and make sure actors are retaining physical distancing. 

Australian soap Neighbours resumed filming in early May but cast and crew were required to keep 1.5 metres apart 

Home and Away actors Jake Ryan (left) and Samantha Frost (right) in the type of scene that would be written out of scripts of the show 

Screen Producers Australia said about 120 productions were affected when the industry was shutdown amid the coronavirus in March at a cost of $2 billion, according to The Australian.  

Hollywood star Tom Hanks tested positive for coronavirus while on the Gold Coast filming an Elvis Presly biopic by Australian director Baz Luhrmann. 

After a brief stint at Gold Coast University Hospital he was given the all-clear and has returned to California while the movie remains on hold. 

The Australian Screen Sector Task Force - made up of Screen Australia, SBS, ABC, major productions companies, and state film agencies, developed the new guideline document.  

The document covers each step of the production process from initial meetings, to casting, on-set shoots, and editing.  

In the beginnings of a production, meetings and castings could be done remotely by video calls and location scouting could be done online. 

Once on set, cast trailers would be restricted to minimum personnel with the actors encouraged to dress themselves and do their own hair and makeup. 

Props and equipment would need to be sanitised and catering would need to ensure hygiene standards are met. 

Outdoor locations would be preferred and any scenes requiring close proximity of cast and crew should be filmed in blocks rather than spread out to minimise the risk of infection. 

Producers and directors are also encouraged to think of creative ways to get the shots they want - including 'technological solutions' like computer generated images. 

Neighbours actress Bonnie Anderson kneels beside a co-star as an outdoor scene is filmed for the show in early May 

Australian soap Neighbours was one of the first shows in the world to resume filming after COVID-19 forced mass shutdowns of businesses across the globe. 

Its production company Fremantle Australia has already instituted social distancing on set with both cast and crew required to keep apart and scripts requiring close contact rewritten. 

Actor Ben Hall, who plays Ned Willis, confirmed that scripts had to be rewritten to accommodate the COVID-19 restrictions. 

'There's been hundreds, if not thousands, of changes by the script department to make sure there are less people in each scene, and also that there is no kissing, hugging, touching of any sort.' he said. 

'So, if you are in a relationship in Neighbours, it's going to be a socially distanced relationship.'  

Neighbours was one of the first productions to resume filming after coronavirus lockdowns 

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