Published On: Thu, May 13th, 2021

I’m A Celeb ‘could RETURN to Wales as Australia’s international borders remain closed indefinitely’

I’m A Celebrity 2021 could reportedly return to Gwrych Castle in Wales after Australia warned international borders will remain closed indefinitely.

Earlier this week, Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said reopening the borders too soon would expose the country to another and more ruthless outbreak of Covid – with Finance Minister Simon Birmingham pushing the date to 2022.  

Due to current regulations, travel to Australia is only permitted if travellers are ‘exempt’ or have been ‘granted an individual exemption’.

Return? I’m A Celebrity 2021 could reportedly return to Gwrych Castle in Wales after Australia warned international borders will remain closed indefinitely (Ant and Dec pictured in 2020)  

According to the Mirror, ‘talks are thought to be ongoing at ITV’ while Gwrych Castle is said to ‘have an agreement’ to host I’m A Celebrity again this year. 

A source told the publication: ‘I’m A Celebrity will happen this year, it is just a case of deciding the location.’ 

The 2020 series relocated from the Australian jungle to Gwrych Castle due to the coronavirus pandemic, it saw Giovanna Fletcher crowned the first-ever Queen of the Castle. 

It comes after hosts Ant and Dec said that plans to return to Australia for I’m A Celebrity this year are ‘still up in the air’. 

Going back for round two? Earlier this week, Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said reopening the borders too soon would expose the country to another and more ruthless outbreak of Covid (Gwrych Castle in Wales pictured)

Going back for round two? Earlier this week, Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said reopening the borders too soon would expose the country to another and more ruthless outbreak of Covid (Gwrych Castle in Wales pictured) 

MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment.

Earlier this week, Scott Morrison warned international borders will remain closed indefinitely if it means protecting Australians from deadly outbreaks of mutant Covid-19 strains from overseas.

The Prime Minister said Australians had come to accept local lockdowns as ‘part of living with Covid-19’ and that residents did not have ‘an appetite’ for change.

He warned that reopening the borders too soon would expose the country to another and more ruthless outbreak of Covid-19, like the ones experienced in the UK, India and Europe.

Regulations: Due to current regulations, travel to Australia is only permitted if travellers are 'exempt' or have been 'granted an individual exemption' (Ant and Dec pictured presenting in Australia in 2019)

Regulations: Due to current regulations, travel to Australia is only permitted if travellers are ‘exempt’ or have been ‘granted an individual exemption’ (Ant and Dec pictured presenting in Australia in 2019) 

‘We sit here as an island that’s living like few countries in the world are at the moment,’ he told The Sunday Telegraph.

‘We have to be careful not to exchange that way of life for what everyone else has.’

Australians have been banned from leaving the country since March 2020 without special exemptions, and only citizens and permanent residents have been allowed to enter under some of the strictest Covid-19 border rules in the world.

But Mr Morrison denied adopting an ‘elimination strategy’ and said suppressing the virus remained the Government’s primary focus.

Queen of the Castle: Giovanna Fletcher won the 2020 series which was held at Gwyrch Castle in Wales after the show relocated due to the pandemic (pictured with Ant and Dec)

Queen of the Castle: Giovanna Fletcher won the 2020 series which was held at Gwyrch Castle in Wales after the show relocated due to the pandemic (pictured with Ant and Dec)

‘Australia’s COVID suppression strategy has not changed to an ‘elimination’ strategy nor is ‘zero cases’ our goal,’ he clarified on Sunday.

‘There will always be cases as we return Australians home from overseas. As always, we will continue to listen to the medical advice and make decisions in the best health and economic interests of all Australians.’

Last year, the Government predicted international borders would be open in October 2021 after the adult population had been offered a vaccine.

However Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the date will be pushed back to some time in 2022 amid the slow vaccine rollout and uncertainty over the Covid-19 vaccine’s ability to protect against mutating strains of the virus. 

Delays? Last year, the Government predicted international borders would be open in October 2021 after the adult population had been offered a vaccine - however, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the date will be pushed back to some time in 2022 (Sydney Airport in April)

Delays? Last year, the Government predicted international borders would be open in October 2021 after the adult population had been offered a vaccine – however, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the date will be pushed back to some time in 2022 (Sydney Airport in April) 

Earlier this month, hosts Ant and Dec said that plans to return to Australia for I’m A Celebrity this year are ‘still up in the air’.

The Geordie duo, both 45, revealed producers are having conversations with Australia ‘to see if they’ll let us in’ for the show which is set to air this autumn, although they added that they would ‘happily go back to Wales’ for the next series.

Speaking on Lorraine, Dec said of the upcoming series: ‘It’s still all up in the air, people are having conversations with Australia to see if they’ll let us in. 

‘If not, we’ve got a lovely alternative to go back to Wales, which we had a great time there.

‘We had a really lovely series and the people of North Wales made us feel very welcome. We’d gladly go back there. But we’ll see whether it’s Oz or Wales, we’re not quite sure yet.’ 

Unsure: It comes after hosts Ant and Dec said that plans to return to Australia for I'm A Celebrity this year are 'still up in the air'

Unsure: It comes after hosts Ant and Dec said that plans to return to Australia for I’m A Celebrity this year are ‘still up in the air’

Ant then chipped in to say: ‘Having the castle as a backdrop really helped with the challenges. We would happily go back to Wales.’

It comes after it was reported last month that I’m A Celebrity will not know if it’s able to a return to its usual home in Australia for the upcoming 2021 series until September.

According to The Mirror, everyone is thought to be ‘very keen’ to return to the jungle and it is now just a ‘waiting game’ to know if it’ll be possible.

One insider said: ‘Everyone is keen to get back Down Under this year but, of course, it depends on what the Australian authorities will allow.

‘We won’t know for sure if we can get back to the Gold Coast until the start of autumn, when things will be much clearer. Until then, it’s a waiting game.’

MailOnline contacted representatives for I’m A Celebrity for further comment at the time.

In March, ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed that bosses are hoping the show will return to the jungle as that is how the show is ‘meant to be’.

Speaking as the network published its group annual results, she said: ‘If we can go back to Australia – and this show is meant to be in Australia – then that’s what we’ll do. We have a very good plan if not, as we have already done it once (in the castle).’

Prior to the confirmation, hosts Ant and Dec sparked claims that this year’s series will be returning to Wales.

The presenting duo said they’d be ‘very happy’ to remain in the UK for filming when the series returns later this year, joking they ‘wouldn’t miss the jet lag’.

'It's a waiting game': It comes after it was reported last month that I'm A Celebrity will not know if it's able to a return to its usual home in Australia for the upcoming 2021 series until September (Ant and Dec pictured at Gwyrch Castle in 2020)

‘It’s a waiting game’: It comes after it was reported last month that I’m A Celebrity will not know if it’s able to a return to its usual home in Australia for the upcoming 2021 series until September (Ant and Dec pictured at Gwyrch Castle in 2020)

Last year’s I’m A Celebrity was relocated to Gwrych Castle in Wales after plans to record the usual show in Australia became impossible due to COVID.

Speaking to Digital Spy magazine, Ant said: ‘If during coronavirus we have to stay put and do it in Wales again, I’d be very happy.

‘We were very welcomed in Wales. There were cardboard cut-outs of me and Dec in the butcher’s, and the local school did a tribute. We’d happily go back there. We’d miss the sunshine, mind.’

Dec added that he ‘wouldn’t be disappointed’ if filming was once again taking place in Wales later this year, adding: ‘The people in Wales were lovely…

‘They made us feel very welcome. I had a lovely time. I will miss the sunshine, but I will not miss the jet lag of coming back from Australia.’ 

It was reported in February that ITV bosses had already secured use of the castle for another series if the Covid crisis prevented a return to Australia.

A source told The Sun: ‘Ultimately they are at the mercy of COVID-19 restrictions. Formally an agreement is in place for the use of Gwrych Castle this year. Should the show need to be held there again it has all got the green light.’

ITV hired the 19th century castle for six weeks in 2020, costing £1million, after Covid-19 ruled out the usual setting in Australia.

The network also announced an extreme Covid Management Plan to ensure the series ran smoothly.

This included the celebrities being tested every three days and crew members wearing proximity buzzers, masks and getting temperature checks on arrival.

The celebrities also had to isolate for two weeks ahead of their arrival. The new venue was warmly received by viewers, with some even calling for the show to make Wales its new permanent home.

Plans: In March, ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed that bosses are hoping the show will return to the jungle as that is how the show is 'meant to be' (Dec pictured)

Plans: In March, ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed that bosses are hoping the show will return to the jungle as that is how the show is ‘meant to be’ (Dec pictured)  

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