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The 2019–21 coronavirus pandemic is a current ongoing pandemic around the world. The virus has impacted various sporting events, social interactions, and television events. When the virus hit the Big Brother world, it became an unprecedented event, changing how many franchises around the world are dealing with the event.
No Audience Live Shows
Amid the rising numbers infected by the pandemic, precautionary measures strictly suggest minimizing social contact to avoid being infected by the disease. As a result, various shows all over the world started airing without a studio audience to observe social distancing and to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
- On March 8, 2020, Grande Fratello announced that there would be no more guests entering the house. Days later on March 11, it was announced that live episodes of its 4th Celebrity Season would no longer feature an audience.
- On March 12, 2020, Big Brother Canada followed suit in this precautionary measure and announced that live episodes on its 8th Season will broadcast without a studio audience after the outbreak of COVID-19. However, the March 19 episode was broadcasted remotely from host Arisa Cox's home (see below). This practiced was continued for its 9th Season.
- Also on March 12, 2020, Big Brother Brazil decided it would not have a live audience for, at least, the 8th eviction on March 17, 2020 as a precautionary measure.
- Starting at the beginning of the season, Big Brother Portugal decided not to have a live audience. However, starting on June 7, 2020, a live audience would be present in the studio.
- The 22nd Season of Big Brother US featured no audience for any of their evictions due to the pandemic.
- The 6th edition of Big Brother Greece was set to premiere on March 15, 2020. However, on the scheduled premiere date, it was announced that the premiere was postponed indefinitely. On May 7, 2020, SKAI announced that Big Brother would premiere in August 30, 2020.
- The 5th edition of Big Brother Portugal was set to premiere on March 22, 2020. However, on March 16, 2020, it was announced that the premiere would be postponed. The season later premiered on April 26, 2020.
- The 22nd Season of Big Brother US was postponed from its initial airdate at the end of June, however a statement from CBS confirmed that they still planned on airing the season in the summer of 2020. On July 23, 2020, ViacomCBS announced the season would be an All-Star edition set to premiere on August 5, 2020. The cast and crew would go through quarantine and frequent testing throughout the season, along with other guidelines and protocols due to the restrictions.
- The 8th edition of Bigg Boss Kannada was set to premiere in mid-September 2020, but was postponed indefinitely. The season premiered on February 28, 2021.
- The fourth celebrity season of Grande Fratello was originally extended to end on April 27, 2020, with the season being a total of 111 days. However, Canale 5 decided to move the finale up to April 8, 2020, making it a total of 92 days.
- The second season of the Malayalam version of Bigg Boss was scheduled to air until April 18, 2020, making it a total of 106 days. However, AsiaNet decided to suspend filming of the show on March 20, 2020. The season would have no winner.
- The 8th Season of Big Brother Canada was initially slated to end on May 21, 2020. However on March 24, it was announced that the show would immediately suspend production. This season would have no winner.
- Production of the 12th season of Big Brother Australia, which was being filmed months ahead of its planned airdate in June, was accelerated to end after six weeks, 39 days, instead of a full length season, however Seven denied that the season was "cut short". The houseguests left the house normally up until a Final Three was determined, after which they were sent home as normal, while they waited for a fan vote to decide who wins the season at the planned live finale.
Due to heavy restrictions on mass gathering and physical distancing due to the pandemic worldwide, some of the Big Brother series that traditionally had open casting calls have held its auditions completely online for the first time. Strict health measures were eventually added and observed, including COVID-19 testing and 24-hour to 14 day quarantine for applicants who passed the subsequent casting rounds. Since the pandemic began, it has become a requirement for every contestant to undergo COVID-19 testing and must be cleared as negative before entering the Big Brother House.
- From May 20 to May 30, 2020, Big Brother Naija held auditions for its 5th Season completely online. A total of 30,000 audition entries where submitted for the season. 
- Big Brother Suomi held its auditions online for its 2020 season wherein 6,000 Finns have submitted applications. The audition period took place for three weeks throughout April and ended on May 3, 2020. 
- Big Brother Canada opened applications on August 10, 2020 for Big Brother Canada 9. For the first time in the series, the casting was held completely online and the applicants were required to submit videos on the series' official casting website. The casting period lasted for 4 months, eventually ending on November 20, 2020.
- Pinoy Big Brother held the auditions for Pinoy Big Brother: Connect completely online from October 19, 2020 until November 11, 2020 via Filipino streaming app, Kumu. Throughout the 3-week application duration, a record-breaking 177, 524 audition entries were submitted on Kumu, the largest number of auditionees to apply for a season in Pinoy Big Brother history.
- Following the hectic third week of Big Brother Canada 8, in which two houseguests were ejected for two different reasons, host Arisa Cox hosted the live show remotely from her home, as the live eviction for the week was cancelled.
- With the exception of live eviction nights in Pinoy Big Brother: Connect, Toni Gonzaga and Bianca Gonzalez host the weekly highlights and nomination nights remotely from their homes.
- Production of the 12th season of Big Brother Australia was temporarily suspended after a crew member was exposed to the virus. However the crew member's test came back negative, and production resumed the following day.
Impact on Players
- Adriana Volpe walked from Grande Fratello VIP 4 after receiving word that her father-in-law contracted the virus.
- Paolo Brosio was one of the twenty-one housemates selected to enter Grande Fratello VIP 5. However, during sequester Paolo fell ill and tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to drop out of the cast. He would later enter the house on Day 47.
- Giulia Salemi, Stefano Bettarini and Selvaggia Roma were set to enter Grande Fratello VIP 5 as intruders on Day 43. However, their entry was postponed after Selvaggia tested positive for COVID-19. Giulia and Stefano would later enter the house on Day 54 and Selvaggia would enter the house on Day 61.
- Liliana Henriques was one of the seven housemates eligible to re-enter the Big Brother Portugal 6 house on Day 71. However, on Day 66, Liliana announced that she had tested positive for COVID-19, forcing her to drop out of the game.
- Bigg Boss 10 (Hindi) housemate Swami Om passed away on February 3, 2021 due to complications from the virus, which he had contracted three months prior.
- Big Brother US winners Josh Martinez and Kaycee Clark were both set to compete on the All-Star season, Big Brother 22 (US), but were both cut from the cast ahead of the premiere after receiving positive COVID-19 test results.
Big Brother House Safety Measures
To maintain the safety of contestants inside the Big Brother house against Coronavirus, various safety measures have been observed by various seasons.
- Big Brother 22 (US) required every houseguest to wear a mask before entering and leaving the Big Brother house. Inside the house, the houseguests' groceries were disinfected before putting them in the Storage Room. Physical distancing was also observed during post-eviction interviews with Julie Chen.
- Big Brother Finland 11 used a Finnish invention called Nanoksi, a self-disinfecting coating solution that was activated by light to kill viruses and bacteria. Control rooms also observed safety measures by using plexiglass dividers between every seat.
- Pinoy Big Brother: Connect sprayed disinfectant throughout the house a day prior the premiere. The housemates were given their own tableware with their names engraved on it while double beds were replaced in favor of single beds with appropriate distance from each other. A lock-in production have been followed by the staff which meant that a group of production staff were required to live inside the Pinoy Big Brother studio compound throughout the duration of the season. 
Big Brother: Stay At Home Edition
- On March 30th, 2020, Pinoy Big Brother launched an interactive spin-off entitled Pinoy Big Brother: Stay At Home Edition. The online interactive spin-off highlights the importance of staying at home amid the COVID-19 crisis and encourages people to join in Big Brother's daily tasks and share their entries via the comments section of the series' Facebook page. The winning entry is awarded as Stay At Homemate of the Day. The spin-off aims to lighten the situation and give people activities for fun while staying indoors as well as giving reminders regarding the proper way to prevent COVID-19.
Reruns & Recaps
- On June 14, 2020, Channel 4 aired a special retrospective program entitled Big Brother: Best Shows Ever which recaps the best bits of Big Brother UK (franchise)'s Channel 4 era. It airs on E4 to mark the 20th Anniversary of the British version of the series. 
- On June 15, 2020, Pinoy Big Brother returned on television as it started airing a re-run of Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7 via a special program called Pinoy Big Brother: Balikbahay Edition, which airs on ABS-CBN's interim network, Kapamilya Channel