Home and Away star Sophie Dillman is currently isolating at her home in Queensland with her boyfriend and co-star Patrick O’Connor amid COVID-19.
And on Tuesday, the actress, 26, spoke about the ‘bizarre’ moment she was told production on long-running soap was shut down over coronavirus fears.
Speaking to TV Week, she it was a ‘really weird time’ when the couple received a call informing them filming for the show had to be suspended.
‘I don’t think it hit home what that meant. I think there was a thought of, “Oh, we’ll go away for two weeks and be back to normal.” But that’s not the case,’ she said.
She added: ‘It feels like the world has stopped; everything is on pause. Currently, we technically don’t have a job.’
Sophie made the decision to fly back to her hometown in Queensland from Sydney, where the soap is filmed, before the borders closed.
‘Luckily, we packed up and left, because the next day they [the borders] were shut. We are lucky we got up here in time to be with our families.’
Production on Home and Away was shut down in March over coronavirus fears, with Seven saying that the health and wellbeing of the cast and crew was a priority, and filming would be halted.
A spokesperson said in a statement to TV Tonight: ‘Seven Studios advised today that it would halt filming of Home and Away immediately.’
‘It confirmed that no cast or crew had tested positive for COVID-19, but that the decision was made due to the increasing logistical hurdles related to the COVID-19 situation,’ a Channel Seven spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Sophie and Patrick, who play loved-up couple Ziggy Astoni and Dean Thompson on the long-running soap, have been dating since 2019 after meeting on set.
Sophie has been a cast member for slightly longer than Patrick, having portrayed Ziggy Astoni since June 2017.
Dean and Ziggy initially didn’t get along well on Home and Away, before becoming close friends and eventually, lovers.