UK Markets close in 5 hrs 25 mins

Dancers who test positive for COVID-19 will be disqualified, Strictly bosses confirm

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·2-min read
Strictly Come Dancing is set to go ahead this year with a slightly shorter run. (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing is set to go ahead this year with a slightly shorter run. (BBC)

Dancers who test positive for COVID-19 on the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing will automatically be eliminated, show bosses have confirmed.

The popular dance contest has faced a host of challenges to get off the ground for the 2020 series in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The upcoming series will enjoy a shorter run than usual and will not start until October, where it would usually begin in September.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing axes Halloween Week from upcoming series

This isn’t the only change necessary however, and the show’s executive producer has revealed strict rules around positive tests will be enforced in a bid to try and ensure the virus does not spread.

Sarah James told press at a recent Q&A: "It's obviously been a really challenging time for myself and the team to come up with a plan of how we can bring the show this year, under all of the current restrictions.

"I'm really proud of the team and what we've managed to achieve already so far.

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli attend the "Strictly Come Dancing" launch show red carpet at Television Centre on August 26, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli attend the "Strictly Come Dancing" launch show red carpet at Television Centre on August 26, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

"Unfortunately, if you receive a positive test, that means you wouldn't be able to continue in the competition. According to guidelines, you would have to isolate for two weeks and that would rule you out."

James added: “Close contact cohort applies to people who need to be able to work more closely together with one person and are regularly tested.

“We are also asking our celebrities and dancers to be part of an exclusive support bubble that means that one half of the party has to live alone.”

Elsewhere, judge Bruno Tonioli will be taking part remotely due to his commitments on the US version Dancing With the Stars.

Read more: The BBC responds to complaints over Strictly’s first same-sex couple

The producer said: "He will actually be able to watch the show on a live link over in LA.

"And then, although he won't be scoring, we'll get an update from him on what he thinks of the couples, and he'll also be able to call out his fellow judges in the results show if he disagrees with them."

The new series of Strictly starts next month on BBC 1.