The TODAY show is now one of several that has decided to scrap its studio audience amid the coronavirus pandemic, sharing that the decision was made out of the interest of safety for all involved.
"The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority," NBC News said in a statement, via E! News. "As a precautionary measure, starting tomorrow, Thursday, March 12, we have decided to suspend live audiences for TODAY and TODAY with Hoda & Jenna & Friends."
"Per guidance from New York City officials, the company is hoping to do its part to help to decrease the rate of transmission in our communities," the statement continued. "Our shows will continue filming on their regular schedule, and currently, there will be no impact on air dates."
The fourth hour of the show, Hoda & Jenna & Friends, had only just started filming with a studio audience last month.
Other shows that are now taping without live audiences include Good Morning America, Live With Kelly and Ryan, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The View and The Wendy Williams Show. Major events have been postponed or canceled including music festivals Coachella, Stagecoach and SXSW, and both The Amazing Race and Survivor have stopped taping. The James Bond sequel No Time to Die, which was scheduled for an April release, has been postponed until November due to executives' fears that audiences will not want to go to the theater amid the outbreak.
The United States currently has over 1,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and the White House announced Wednesday that non-U.S. citizens won't be allowed to travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days, though the travel suspension will not apply to the United Kingdom.
"To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days," Donald Trump said in an address on Wednesday, March 11. "The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings."0comments
The White House later said in a tweet that that the suspension only applies to foreign nationals who have traveled to one of 26 European countries in the past 14 days.
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