The COVID-19 outbreak has proven to be quite a tough nut to crack, having spread rapidly across many nations, crippling entire industries, including TV and film, as a result. The latest Hollywood celebrity to be affected by the coronavirus is Kristofer Hivju, who plays Nivellen in the upcoming The Witcher Season 2.
The Norwegian actor of Game of Thrones and Fast & Furious 8 fame recently announced his diagnosis on his social media, having tested positive for COVID-19 earlier today, at the time of writing. Similar to Idris Elba, who also recently tested positive, Hivju urged fans to “be extremely careful” and practice good hygiene and social distancing to “avert” the outbreak.
Following Hivju’s diagnosis, Netflix has recently released a statement to its cast and crew, stating that production for the second season of The Witcher on a two-week hold, and that a “deep cleaning and disinfection” of the production offices and recent shooting location will be conducted. In the meantime, cast and crew were urged to practice a 14-day self-isolation.
Here is Netflix’s full email (courtesy of Deadline):
We wanted to let everyone know that we learned today that a member of our production family has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently seeking medical care and we are doing everything we can to support them at this time. Out of respect for the individual’s privacy, we will not be sharing the identity of the individual.
We paused production prior to becoming aware of this, but as a further precaution we will be closing production offices and Arborfield immediately and arranging for deep cleaning and disinfection. This means no one will have access to production offices or Arborfield during that time.
We are in the process of contacting those who were in close contact with the relevant individual. However, due to the nature of this production, it is recommended that crew and cast self-quarantine for 14 days, monitor their temperature, and seek medical advice if they experience any symptoms.
Please note that the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that the risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms is very low. See here for the WHO’s latest guidance. We advise all individuals to stay up to date with and follow their local government recommendations on COVID-19.
Please feel free to contact our Line Producer and Production HR if you have any further questions or concerns.
Additionally, we also want to remind everyone of your access to our Modern Health programme, which can be a helpful resource for those who may need assistance during this uncertain time. Through Modern Health, each of you can access up to 3 individual counselling sessions per calendar year covered by Netflix.
Thank you for supporting each other throughout this time.
Netflix has yet to give an update on whether this will affect the scheduled release of The Witcher Season 2 in 2021.
Meanwhile, Netflix has also ceased productions for upcoming seasons of the likes of Stranger Things and Riverdale.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.