"I don't know exactly the date, but I know we're all just itching to get back," Metz said. "Everybody’s just making sure that [it's] safe and regulated, and everyone is going to be as safe as possible so I think it's going to be pretty soon."
While protocols have not been set in stone for cast members and crew, the 39-year-old actress shared that they're taking all the necessary precautions before production does resume.
"I've been tested personally four times. But they haven't given us any protocols. We'll have a first day of testing before we do a wardrobe fitting," Metz confirmed. "And then, I think all the protocols will be set in place. I sawHayley [Orrantia] from [The Goldbergs] -- everything is in this place and everybody is separated and I'm like, 'Oh, is that what's going to happen with us?' I don't know. I'm sure it's going to be really interesting to see but so much hard work is being put in too to make sure that everybody is safe and I just really commend everybody."
The pandemic will also likely force This Is Us to pivot on intimate scenes in season 5 for the foreseeable future. That means little to no kissing between characters in romantic relationships, Metz posits.
"I don't think we're going to be kissing," she said. "I think we might [do] like the side church hug or something, but I don't know if we're going to be kissing, y'all. I doubt it."
Metz has received the first two scripts for the new season, but played coy when asked for details. "I don't know anything!" she quipped.
She did elaborate on how the coronavirus may be incorporated, as it relates to the Pearson family. "We know how it's going to look and I have to say, I'm excited about it because I think people will look to the Pearsons for how we navigate life because they do it imperfectly and people can relate to that," Metz said.
With This Is Us picking up more than a half a year after the events of the finale, Metz offered an early preview of what awaits Kate and Toby amid a COVID-affected world. In the season 4 closer, the couple made the decision to adopt a baby while raising their son. (A future flash-forward revealed their adopted daughter, Hailey, as an adult.)
"Kate is one of those women where she might be emotional and she might not have it all figured out but in the time of a crisis, I feel she might have a handle on some things," Metz said of how Kate would handle quarantine. "If anything, I think she is going to go on the other side of it and be a hypochondriac and might go be a recluse and don't let anybody touch her child. We will see."
This Is Usreturns with a two-hour premiere Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. For more on the upcoming season, watch Justin Hartley's ET interview below.