Erin Krakow is headed back to Hope Valley! The When Calls the Heart star is returning to Vancouver to resume production on the eighth season of celebrated Hallmark drama, and she opened up to ET about returning to work amid the coronavirus crisis.
"I’ve missed Vancouver. I’ve missed Hope Valley. I’ve missed waking up every morning to do what I love. But most of all I’ve missed some of my favorite people -- our cast and crew," Krakow shared with ET's Deidre Behar.
The actress, who has led the show for the past seven seasons, added that it "feels fantastic" to get back to filming.
Krakow took to Instagram on Wednesday to share a snapshot of herself on her flight to Canada, in which she wore a facemask adorned with a post-it note with a smiley face.
The mask wearing will continue when she gets to set, according to Krakow, who explained that there will be "lots of new rules and protocol" and "lots of social distancing" while shooting the upcoming season.
"We’re operating in pods, [meaning] teams of people generally in the same department, and will be working to avoid crossover between them as much as possible," Krakow said, detailing some of the new measures the production is taking to protect its cast and crew from COVID-19. "We’re aiming to film scenes outdoors as much as possible. And yes, masks for everyone but the actors in scenes."
Despite production shutdowns and quarantine, Krakow said When Calls the Heart has "managed to stay pretty well on track" when it comes to their shooting schedule.
"We’re actually starting relatively early this year to take advantage of some of Vancouver’s gorgeous summer weather," she shared. "As far as I know season 8 will be back on your screens in early 2021."
Ultimately, Krakow said she's excited to be back in front of the cameras, but knows that the reason production has restarted is because of the precautions being taken.
"I am so grateful to be getting back to work, but the only reason I’m comfortable doing so is because we are committed to prioritizing safety," Krakow shared. "It’s been disheartening to see so many people who are not taking this virus seriously. We are not yet out of the woods."
"So I encourage everyone to continue wearing a mask, and to practice social distancing," she added. "No need to live in fear, but let’s make choices that reflect compassion for ourselves and others."
Krakow -- alongside her WCTH co-stars Kevin McGarry and Chris McNally -- spoke with ET over video chat back in April, and they shared updates on life in quarantine and dished on the season 7 finale.