The Dutch government is looking at ways to ensure events can take place safely during these covid-19 times. This weekend, a festival will be held as a test event. Visitors are allowed to enter an event when able to show the results of a negative covid test. Furthermore, the government is looking into other options as well.
100 new test locations
Currently, over 300 test locations are available in the Netherlands where people experiencing symptoms can be tested for covid-19. Responsible for these locations are the Muncipal Health Services, called GGD. They have however said that their locations will not provide tests for people without symptoms just so they can go to an event.
Instead, the Dutch Ministry of Health have decided to open a total of 100 extra test locations. At these locations, the Stichting Open Nederland will provide people with rapid tests. The GGD locations currently use PCR tests, which are more expensive than the rapid tests. A speak of the Ministry of Health confirmed that people would not need to pay for the rapid test, stating:
Like with the current test locations, you don’t need to pay for a test for now. It could be that, at a later date, entry tickets will raise their prices with a few euros to be able to keep paying for the tests.Ministry of Health in the Netherlands
The CoronaCheck App
One of the most important features the government now want to implement is a special app. The app, called the CoronaCheck App, may become a compulsory feat before gaining access to an event. When going for a rapid test at one of the new so-called party locations, you receive a code. After submitting this code to the CoronaCheck App, a green tick will appear if your test comes back with a negative result. A green tick will be valid for up to 48 hours.
This weekend, a festival will take place in Biddinghuizen. The event, called the Back To Live Festival, will be one of the test events to test whether events can safely take place, even during the pandemic. During the event, 1,500 people will be attending without the need of social distancing. Instead, every visitor is required to undergo a PCR test less than 48 hours before attending the event. They can then enter with a negative result.
Previous test events – a congress, a theatre show, a football match and two Ziggo Dome concerts – have taken place successfully. Visitors also need to partake in several questionnaires and experiments which will investigate which protocol works best when it comes to hosting events.
A Eurovision audience?
The new test locations are set to open in April. If Fieldlab, the organisation behind the test events, and the Dutch government reach the conclusion that it is, with limitations and regulations, safe to host larger events, this is a big step towards allowing an audience at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.
Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Sietse Bakker has released a statement on Twitter. He goes on record, by stating the news of the CoronaCheck App and the new test locations is good news for the event sector. He adds that these steps bring a Eurovision Song Contest with an audience one step closer. Furthermore, Bakker revealed that a decision on an audience at Eurovision will be taken before 15th April.
A little over a week ago, the organisers of Eurovision 2021 announced their health and safety protocol. Their aim is to host the contest in Ahoy Rotterdam according to Scenario B. This scenario entails that as many acts as possible will attend the contest in Rotterdam. The Dutch government has guaranteed they will be classified as essential travellers upon entering the country.
The organisers, consisting of broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS and the EBU have also planned a virtual press centre to allow coverage from home. Furthermore, the organisers would also be taking a look at the possibility of a (small) audience attending the show. The new test regulations and event policy may just make that possible.
What do you think about the chances of an audience attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2021? Let us know!