Season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy will be shorter than usual as the long-running medical drama has admitted defeat to Covid-19.

The major scheduling change comes as a result of ABC deciding not to resume production on the show, which shut down earlier this month in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Twenty-one of the season's planned 25 episodes were completed when production was halted earlier this month.

"Out of an abundance of caution, production is postponed on Grey’s Anatomy effective immediately," showrunner/EP Krista Vernoff, director/EP Debbie Allen and line producer James Williams said in a letter to the show’s cast and crew.

"We are going home now for at least two weeks and waiting to see how the coronavirus situation evolves.

"This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of the whole cast and crew and the safety of our loved ones outside of work, and it was made in accordance with [Los Angeles] Mayor Garcetti’s suggestion that we not gather in groups of more than 50.

"Stay safe, stay healthy, stay hydrated, stay home as much as possible, and wash your hands frequently," they added.

"Please take care of yourselves and each other. As updates come in, we will keep you informed. Thank you for all that you do!"