No decision has yet been made on cancelling the Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in The Netherlands in May.
The Rotterdam City Council is meeting today to discuss the coronavirus crisis.
Part of that discussion will be whether the song festival, which is expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors from 41 countries to Rotterdam, can proceed.
Rotterdam tourism alderman Said Kasmi said, “I think there should be an examination in mid-April about how things stand then. So we still have plenty of time.
“We are also monitoring it ourselves, and we see that the situation around corona changes every day.”
A representative of the European Broadcasting Union said: “The EBU is, of course, closely monitoring the situation concerning the spread of coronavirus and taking all necessary health and safety precautions in line with WHO (World Health Organisation) and national authority guidelines.
“We will continue to follow developments across Europe; and are looking at various possible scenarios together with the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 host broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS.”
Host venue Rotterdam Ahoy yesterday said in a statement, “The coronavirus has been detected in the Netherlands. As an international event accommodation, we are of course closely following the developments of the coronavirus. We are in contact with the responsible authorities and follow the guidelines of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Association for Public Health and Safety (GGD).
“For us, the health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors, organizers, suppliers and employees are paramount. At this point the authorities see no reason for rescheduling events.”
But contingency plans are believed to include performing in an empty stadium, or artists performing in their own countries via videolink.
EBU representatives also did not attend a meeting of Eurovision delegates from the 41 participating countries on Monday because of a travel ban put in place after a member of staff was diagnosed with the virus.
Meanwhile the Invictus Games are also to be held in The Netherlands in May. Prince Harry has demanded the safety and welfare of the athletes “comes before anything else” and is receiving daily updates on the spread of the virus.
A Rotterdam Marathon will continue as planned on April 5th.
Update: Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has said that he wants any decision to cancel the Eurovision Song Contest to be made by April 5 or 6.