Coronavirus: ‘Young and Restless’ star Richard Burgi fired for protocol breach

Actor Richard Burgi has been fired from the daytime soap opera, “The Young and the Restless,” for breaching the show’s COVID-19 protocols, Variety reported.

>> PHOTOS: Richard Burgi through the years

Burgi, 63, who played Ashland Locke on the daytime television series, announced his departure Tuesday on his Instagram story, saying he was fired after he “naively and inadvertently violated the show’s COVID policy.”

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“I felt terrible about it,” Burgi said in his video message, according to Variety. “I still do. It bothers me mightily but it is what it is. I respect whatever the show’s decision is. They’re doing the best they can, as we all are.”

Burgi said he was visiting family members “back East over Christmas” when he tested positive for COVID-19, People reported.

After receiving his positive results, Burgi said he went into isolation for five days as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then tested negative twice at the studio.

However, the show’s protocol was 10 days, so Burgi said he was “not within the show’s guidelines.”

“So I inadvertently violated the show’s COVID rules and protocols,” the actor said.

Burgi joined “The Young and the Restless” in March 2021, Variety reported.

Sony Pictures Television declined to comment, People reported. A representative for Burgi did not immediately respond to the magazine’s request for comment.

The show has tapped Robert Newman as Burgi’s replacement and announced that the veteran actor, best known for his role on “Guiding Light,” will make his debut as Locke in February, according to Soap Opera Digest.

“The Young and the Restless” has been a staple of afternoon soaps since its debut in 1983. The show has been the No. 1 daytime drama for more than 31 years and has won 116 Daytime Emmys during its 49-year run, People reported.

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