April 20, 2021

Eurovision 2021: masks, quarantine and restrictions for delegations

Blas Cantó, Spanish representative in Eurovision.

Blas Cantó, Spanish representative in Eurovision.

Editing Eurovision 2021, what to be held in the Dutch city of Rotterdam in May, will feature live performances by the artists and will be organized with strict safety and health measures, which include masks, quarantines and social distancing, although it is not clear if there will be a face-to-face audience.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its Dutch partners in the organization of the festival in the Netherlands (NPO public radio television, NOS television and AVROTROS organization) have published this Tuesday a Health and Safety protocol for covid-19 for the festival, which is held between May 18 and 22.

“With the help of extended tests, use of masks, hygiene measures, attention to ventilation and innovative measures, we will create an environment in which the team, the artists and the press can work in the safest possible way,” stressed Sietse. Bakker, executive producer of the event.

All the people who receive an accreditation to enter the Rotterdam Ahoy Arena will be subject to this protocol, which complies with the guidelines of the Netherlands Institute of Public Health (RIVM).

The main recommendation is that all those who attend the festival from abroad undergo a five-day quarantine immediately after landing on Dutch territory, and must show a negative CRP of maximum 72 hours before flying in order to get on the plane, a official restriction that applies to everyone who wants to enter the Netherlands.

Test and limited outputs

Once in the country, the delegations “must stay in their hotel, except when they leave to go to the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam for rehearsals, live performances and other activities related to the program” of the festival.

In addition, all employees of the congress center, including artists and the press, will be subjected to regular tests in a special facility which will be installed near the Ahoy and if any participant cannot perform live because they test positive, an alternative backup recording will be used.

“Our objective is clear: prevent transmission of the virus during the event. If someone tests positive, our isolation protocol will go into effect, we will support the relevant authorities with the follow-up investigation, and we will take additional action when necessary, ”adds Bakker.

The current goal is for all artists to perform live from the stage in Rotterdam, although “with the health and safety of all attendees, including the team and the press” as a priority of the organizers, added Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor of the festival. Later it will be confirmed whether a reduced attendance of the public will also be allowed.

“The spirit and tradition of the Eurovision Song Contest is about bringing Europe together on one stage and we are still very determined to do so in Rotterdam in May,” Österdahl underlined.

The measures, already approved by the Rotterdam region security committee, can be adjusted at any time, but for now, the delegations are reduced “enormously” compared to previous editions and the number of journalists attending the event will be limited to 500.


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