“They’ve all been told that it’s likely they will have to be quarantined indefinitely in order for filming to be able to continue and finish on time,” the source dishes.
“They will each have a separate hotel room and will not be able to have any contact with anyone outside of the show for the rest of the season.”
However, the idea of not being able to have any contact with their families hasn’t been well received.
“The contestants who have families, especially young children, have been complaining because they’re worried they could be separated for weeks, even months,” the insider explains. “The interstate contestants who stayed in NSW after state borders closed don’t know when they are going to be able to return home.”
According to the source, contestants have already voiced their concerns to producers, demanding they come up with an alternative solution.
“They don’t understand why they are still being made to film, when the production of every other show in Australia has been halted. It’s not fair,” the source adds.
“They’re considering boycotting the whole thing and walking out if their demands aren’t met.
“They’re saying they never would have signed up in the first place if they knew they would be locked up in a hotel and kept apart from their families for so long – it’s not Big Brother!”
But despite the contestants’ concerns, producers are determined to proceed.
“COVID-19 restrictions have already caused huge delays and set them back massively. They’re cutting it very fine,” the source continues.
“If someone tests positive and they have to pause the show for a couple of weeks, it could severely impact ratings – and the show is rating through the roof, so they don’t want to take that risk. They’ve simply told the contestants to suck it up!
“MasterChef has been operating with skeleton staff in order to adhere to social distancing measures and everyone has been urged to practise good hygiene.”
For more, see this week's New Idea - out now!