The EBU and Dutch broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS have published a Health and Safety Protocol, which details all the COVID-19 safety measures that will be put in place for Eurovision 2021.
The protocol applies to all accredited artists and workers at Eurovision 2021 and is fully compliant with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment guidelines for large events.
Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, explained:
“The spirit and tradition of the Eurovision Song Contest is about uniting Europe on one stage and we are very much still determined to achieve this in Rotterdam in May. We are moving forward with our plans to produce a safe Eurovision Song Contest, with all artists performing live in Rotterdam. This protocol demonstrates our commitment to make this happen, with the health and safety of everyone attending, including crew and press, our top priority.”
The protocol can be adjusted at any time according to any developments and begins before artists and delegations even arrive in the host city. The protocol guidelines are as follows:
All those attending the Eurovision Song Contest from abroad are recommended to go into quarantine for 5 days before departure to the Netherlands and they must test negative for COVID-19 at most 72 hours before they fly.
Once in the Netherlands, delegations have to stay in their hotel, except when they travel to the Ahoy Arena for rehearsals, live shows and other programme related activities.
Everyone working in the Ahoy Arena, including crew, artists and press, will be tested regularly in a special facility next to the arena.
The testing strategy is being developed based on the guidelines of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the Netherlands.
Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer of the 2021 show, added:
“Our goal is clear: to prevent transmission of the virus during the event. If someone tests positive, our isolation protocol comes into effect, we support the relevant authorities with track and trace research and we take additional measures where necessary. If a participant is unable to perform live as a result, the backup recording will be used.”
Scenario B ‘reaffirmed’
In February it was announced that a “normal” Eurovision Song Contest could not take place under the current circumstances and that organisers were “determined yet optimistic” that the 65th edition of the world’s largest live music event could take place under
The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group and the Executive Board of the EBU reaffirmed that they would continue to work towards hosting Eurovision 2021 under Scenario B – a scaled down version of the Contest with strict health and safety measures and social distancing. Under Scenario B the number of people in each delegation has been reduced from previous editions, and the number of journalists who can attend the event will also be capped at 500 with a further 1,000 able to cover the show in a new online press centre. The event can still be scaled down further should a change in circumstances arise.
A decision on whether an audience can be present at the shows and on what public activities can take place around the event in Rotterdam will be decided at a later time.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will take place on May 18, 20 and 22 in Rotterdam. A total of 41 countries will take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Eurovision 2020 was due to be held in Rotterdam after Duncan Laurence gave the Netherlands their first victory since 1975 with the song “Arcade”. After the cancelation of the 2020 contest, it was decided that Rotterdam would host the 2021 contest instead.
Image Source: ASM Global / Source: eurovision.tv