News comes today that the Eurovision organisers in Rotterdam are proceeding with holding the contest under Scenario B.
On 23 February 2021, it was revealed that Scenario A which was the intention of holding the contest with no restrictions could not take place. Therefore the plan is now to stage the contest under Scenario B.
As a reminder here is the main features of Scenario B.
Scenario B: Socially distant Eurovision Song Contest – at 1.5 meters
- Everyone attending the Eurovision Song Contest at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena would need to practice social distancing.
- Strict health and safety measures (including frequent COVID testing) would be in place at the venue. A protocol to protect artists, delegations, and crew on and off site would be adhered to.
- If there are any delegations who cannot travel to Rotterdam, their artists will perform “live-on-tape” with a recorded performance being used.
- Those who can travel to Rotterdam will perform their songs live on stage.
- There would be 9 shows (6 dress rehearsals, 2 Semi-Finals and a Grand Final), either with no audience or a reduced audience to allow for social distancing. The final capacity would be dependent on local government guidelines.
- There will be activities in the city of Rotterdam held in a safe and responsible way. However, the EBU are also saying that 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.
Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor, 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.”
Because there would be less space for the audience in this scenario, a new seating layout will have to be made. There are also strict rules for foreign visitors. They should to go into quarantine for 5 days before their trip, and they must test negative for COVID-19 at most 72 hours before flying to Rotterdam.
This is the situation as of today, but as with all things Covid related, plans could change at any moment.
As far as press are concerned the EBU says
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.