Wethouder Kasmi, the Tourism Councillor for Rotterdam, has announced that preparation for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest are continuing, despite the Coronavirus pandemic still ongoing globally.
He made clear that the Netherlands’ national health organisation, RIVM, will be monitoring the situation closely. RIVM are set to take any necessary action but for now, there “is no need to cancel the Eurovision Song Contest”.
Situation to be re-assessed next month?
This morning, a council meeting was held in Rotterdam this morning to discuss the consequences of the spread of COVID-19 across Europe. Ahead of the meeting, Kasmi talked about his views about running Eurovision at the height of a global pandemic:
I think there should be an examination mid-April about how things are going then. So we still have plenty of time.– Wethouder Kasmi, Rotterdam Tourism Councillor
On the other hand, council member Geert Koster disagrees stating that:
As it stands now, I find that irresponsible. If you just let it go on, you consciously take the risk of developing a source of infection. It must first be clear that – perhaps due to an increase in temperature – the danger has passed.– Geert Koster, Rotterdam council member
“Too early to say anything”
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has the final decision over whether the contest should be cancelled or not. Council members presented arguments to the Mayor yesterday stating their views.
This evening, Mayor Aboutaleb commented on the situation, telling press that:
The EBU and AVROTROS have the opportunity to take this decision independently, but I have the legal responsibility and I think it is too early to say anything about it.– Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor for Rotterdam
Gatherings of over 100 cancelled until end of March
Earlier today, the Dutch government introduced new measures to cancel gatherings of more than 100 people until 31st March. Other measures introduced include social distancing, working from home if possible and the closure of public places.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister, Mark Rutte was against plans to cancel large events saying that such decisions were “not sensible”. This highlights the constantly changing situation of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In other coronavirus-related news, this year’s Lithuanian entrants, The Roop, have pulled out of performing in all pre-parties and postcard filming. The band’s lead singer, Vaidotas Valiukevičius, stated that the band did not wish to risk their “own health or public health”.
What do you think about the update on this year’s Eurovision preparations? Do you still think the contest will go ahead in May?
Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA.