It is hard to ignore the difficult moment that the world finds itself in at this moment, with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect daily life in Europe and beyond.
Of course, Eurovision is no different or separate from this, and the effects of the outbreak on the contest are already starting to show.
Pre-parties in Madrid and Tel Aviv have already been cancelled, with the London Eurovision Party, currently set for March 29th, and now the Eurovision in Concert event in Amsterdam, set for April 4th, both monitoring the situation regarding European travel laws and health and public wellbeing concerns.
It is expected that both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands will in the coming days step up their efforts to contain and delay the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in their respective countries, which could include a ban on public gatherings and restrictions on travel and businesses. Today, the Dutch government announced that the restrictions on schools, restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses would extend to April 6th, two days after Eurovision in Concert is scheduled to take place.
There have also been a number of concerns raised by artists and delegations in the lead-up to the contest and its promotion trail; Lithuania’s The Roop, Israel’s Eden Alene and Bulgaria’s VICTORIA have all confirmed they will be unable to attend the various pre-parties in the lead up to the Rotterdam contest.
Of course, the big question hanging over fans of the contest at the moment is what will happen to the contest itself, with the extension of the ban taking the Netherlands right up to the moment when construction of the stage is scheduled to begin in Ahoy Rotterdam. At the time of writing, the EBU and the Dutch broadcasters AVROTROS, NOS and NPO continue their preparations as normal for the competition to go ahead on May 12th, 14th and 16th.
The utmost concern will be, and always will be, for the safety of artists, press, delegations, fans and visitors to the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, and as such we must continue to stay safe, monitor the situation and be understanding of the vast challenges our continent and our world currently face.
#YOU can watch a replay of Matt’s live-stream from Saturday regarding the contest and the current situation below;
Please make sure to stay safe and vigilant regarding the current laws and regulations regarding COVID-19, and make sure to follow the latest guidance from the World Health Organisation and your local government and media.
What do #YOU think will happen with the current COVID-19 situation, and should Eurovision go ahead on its current schedule and in its current form? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media.