Eurovision 2020: The Netherlands bans crowded events; The debate on Eurovision cancellation arises
As the coronavirus pandemic is causing a domino of measures and restriction across the globe and the European continent, The Netherands has banned events that gather more than 100 people, bringing upfront the debate on a possible Eurovision 2020 cancellation.
In the Netherlands, a ban on crowds of more than 100 people was introduced on Thursday to reduce the spread of the corona virus. The ban applies primarily to the month out, but if extended, the Eurovision Song Contest will be affected.
During the day, the ruling politicians in the city of Rotterdam debated measures to prevent the spread of the virus. On May 12, the city is set to host the Eurovison song contest – an event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors from several different countries – therefore the event is one of the issues on the agenda according to local media.
The Municipal politician Geert Koster from the party Leefbaar Rotterdam (Det habeligelig Rotterdam) says about Eurovision 2020:
If the city allows the competition in its current form, we risk an outbreak of infection. All visitors must be guaranteed security.
Rotterdam’s cultural and tourism councilor, Wethouder Kasmi, said that Eurovision is relatively far ahead and that preparations continue as usual while Sweden’s Head of Delegation in the Eurovision song contest, Christer Björkman tells the latest update is that the event is assumed to be held as planned. And Björkman goes on saying:
We are following developments day by day right now, because the situation is changing so fast. So far we are acting as if we will manage to get rid of it. We adhere to SVT’s internal policies and what local authorities in Sweden say in the first place, and after that to what Holland has to say. We haven’t heard anything new today, but it is logical that it comes up on the agenda.
According to the the Dutch newspaper AD speculates on what measures could be applied if the risks of holding ESC are deemed to be too great. For example, the competition could be postponed until the fall, or held without an audience.
A poll on AD.nl shows that the people also struggle with this delicate issue. Of the more than 12,500 readers who participated in this poll, it appears that 37% think the Eurovision song contest should be canceled. “They are far too dangerous,” they agree. In addition, 39% say they do not want to make a decision yet and are awaiting developments. Finally, 24% think the entire discussion is cold, and believe that the Rotterdam Ahoy should continue to host the 65th Eurovision Song Contest.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 is set to take place on May 12, 14, and 16 at the Rotterdam Ahoy, in Rotterdam.
Cover photo: ad.nl/ ROBIN UTRECHT