Coronavirus: Coronation Street and Emmerdale to promote 'public health issues' like hand washing

Television soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale are going to help join efforts to "remind people of important public health issues" amid the coronavirus outbreak, an ITV spokesperson has confirmed.

The importance of hand washing is among the topics that will be covered by the family-favourite programmes.

The soaps do not usually make reference to current affairs as they are filmed well in advance of being broadcast, according to ITV, but this will change with coronavirus.

The cast of Coronation Street with the award for Soap of the Year at the TRIC Awards held in March. Credit: PA

An ITV spokesperson said: "Because we script and shoot so far in advance we don't generally reflect contemporary issues.

"However we are going to use the soaps to remind people of important public health issues such as the need to wash their hands.

"We'll try and do more such messages going forward."

Earlier in March an unnamed cast member from Coronation Street entered precautionary self-isolation over fears that they had contracted coronavirus.

The cast member later returned to work after being advised by health professionals that they no longer needed to be in isolation and could safely continue filming.

The release of latest instalment in the James Bond franchise has been delayed. Credit: PA

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know:

The inclusion of public health issues in television programmes comes as the coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt the entertainment industry among others.

A number of television programmes - including the sixth season of Peaky Blinders - have halted production over fears about the spread of the virus.

The release date of the latest James Bond movie has been pushed back, as has Disney's Mulan remake.

The music and theatre industries have also been hit by the pandemic, with New York's theatre district Broadway closed until at least the beginning of April and musicians - including The Who and Pearl Jam - postponing their tours.