How does BBC’s Strictly stay running during the pandemic? What rules are in place and what happens if a contestant tests positive for Covid?
Strictly Come Dancing is returning to our screens for another season very soon and many have been left wondering how the show can go ahead during Covid restrictions.
The star-studded bonanza was one of the only programmes that managed to keep running last year when the pandemic was at its peak, and this was thanks to some creative filming and strict regulations.
Although fan-favourite moments such as the live Blackpool show had to be cancelled, the series managed to make it through from start to finish without any major issues.
But how does Strictly manage to keep moving and what protocols are in place for the dancers?
Firstly, the professional dancers have pre-filmed all of their iconic group dances for this series in advance.
So, sadly you won’t get to catch the pros swinging their hips in unison live — it will be a prerecord.
When the live shows start, the team will be tested weekly and the professional dancers will bubble up with their celebrities just like last year.
Audience numbers will also be limited and their will be no group catch-ups with Claudia Winkleman post-dance.
Unfortunately, the trip to the famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom will be off the cards once more.
“That’s to keep everyone safe,” Sarah James, Strictly’s executive producer, said. “Blackpool Tower is amazing but behind the scenes it’s really small.
“All the dressing rooms are tiny so keeping everybody distanced there is impossible and everyone stays in a hotel together up there so that’s the reason we made that decision.”
But with restrictions eased, some things will be back to normal.
“Keeping people safe and keeping the show going are our priorities,” Sarah said.
“The better news is that last year the isolation period, if you received a positive test, was 14 days but this year it’s 10 days so if a celebrity does receive a positive test, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out of the competition.
This will be good news for one professional dance, who has recently tested positive.
Strictly Come Dancing returns this Saturday, September 18, at 7.45pm on BBC One.