The plan was to give Dutch Eurovision fans an answer today, but the decision whether the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam (the Netherlands), will have a live audience will “probably” be made tomorrow.
Today there would have been a meeting between all parties involved, but this meeting was unfortunately canceled. Ministers Slob, de Jonge, Grapperhaus, Van Engelshoven, and Secretary of State Keijzer, would have come up with a definitive answer whether this year’s Eurovision shows will have a live audience.
New meeting tomorrow
This meeting will “probably” be tomorrow, Thursday, April 29th, 2021, as stated by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sciences. The reason why this Ministry is involved is that the Eurovision Song Contest of 2021 is part of the Dutch Fieldlab Events, special events that are organized to experiment with the dos and don’ts during upcoming (large-scale) events. Only Dutch people who can show a negative COVID-19 test are allowed in the Rotterdam Ahoy arena. During each show that revolves around the contest (6 rehearsals, 2 semifinals, and 1 grant final) 3,500 spectators can be present when this experiment gets the green light.
“When we look at the increase of people who have COVID-19 in the Netherlands, we can be sure that more people will be brought to hospitals. Next to this, most elderly have had their first vaccination. What will happen is the big question. When will the peek be? It is all very hard to prognose, but we know for sure that in the month of May we will have a lot of COVID-19 patients to take care of in all Dutch hospitals.”– Ernst Kuijpers, Chairman of the Erasmus MC hospital Rotterdam and National Network Acute Medical Care
Not more than 900 ICU beds occupied
The Dutch government stated that all experiments executed by Fieldlab Events, which are a combination of efforts by the Dutch government and the Dutch event business, will be cancelled when there are more than 900 ICU beds occupied in Dutch hospitals. On Wednesday April 28th 2021 the online Dutch COVID-19 dashboard, governed by the Dutch Ministry of Health, stated that the count is 814 occupied ICU beds.
A lot of uncertainty
There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding 2021’s song contest. In the last couple of days the prognose was made public that there will be another COVID-19 peek in Dutch hospitals half May, which also means that emergency admissions stopped in some of the Dutch hospitals. Next to this, many surgeries were cancelled because all hands are needed to nurse patients with COVID-19.
“Nine times 3,500 spectators out of every corner of the Netherlands means a lot of traffic to the city of Rotterdam, many people at the entrance of the arena, at the restroom, etc. Naturally, I would love for everyone to enjoy the Eurovision Song Contest, but whether that is possible from the Ahoy Rotterdam or only at home is uncertain. About the shows, I do not worry. In front of the cameras, everything can continue as planned. The organization of the contest, the way all the different delegations will be hosted in our city, and the testing of all the staff I do not worry about.”– Saskia Baas, Director of the Dutch Municipal Health Services in the region Rotterdam-Rijnmond
The semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will take place on May 18 and 20. The grand final will be on May 22, 2021