On Thursday the Netherlands introduced strict measures to slow the spread of Covid-19. This included a ban on large events of 100 or more people until March 31. On Sunday, as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the country rose to 1,135, with 20 deaths, the government acted again, adding new restrictions and extending its existing ban by one week to April 6.

This means the ban on large events now coincides with Eurovision in Concert, which was scheduled to take place on April 4 inside AFAS Live. The venue has a capacity of 5,000. Writing on their official web site, organisers of the important Eurovision preview event, which always draws more than 20 acts, said they’re exploring what’s now possible.

“The ban on events has been extended until April 6th,” they write. “At the moment we are checking all possible options around Eurovision in Concert. As soon as there will be more information, we will of course report this as soon as possible.”

Update at 22:24 CET 15 March

Just before 22:30 CET, Eurovision in Concert organisers confirmed that the event will not take place on 4 April. The team will take some days to assess all possible options.

Two major pre-party events have already been cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic: The PrePartyES in Madrid and Israel Calling in Tel Aviv. And two artists — Lithuania’s The Roop and Bulgaria’s VICTORIA — have announced that they are withdrawing from all promotional stops because of the pandemic.

The situation in the Netherlands is likely to get worse before it gets better. As Reuters reports, the nation’s healthcare minister has already stated thatadditional measures are likely.

“I am certain these will not be our last measures, the situation keeps developing very rapidly and we will keep deciding on further measures based on the knowledge of experts,” Bruno Bruins said. “I cannot speculate on what measures these will be, but it is clear that more will follow.”

Schools and childcare centers across the nation will not open on Monday. They will remain closed until April 6 under the current restrictions. Cafes and restaurants will also shut, as well as sports clubs, saunas, coffee shops and sex clubs.

The Prime Minister Mark Rutte is set to address the nation on Monday.

For detailed information about the coronavirus/COVID-19 and how to stay healthy, please visit The World Health Organisation web site.

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eerr
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eerr

off topic but it seems that the London Eurovision Party will not be happening after what we heard from the government

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Agreed. To add some personal context: Absolutely all of my own gigs here in UK in March and April have been cancelled or postponed now, as have all rehearsals. Live music is being silenced, for now.

Jimmy Smit
Guest
Jimmy Smit

Were you associated with the Eurovision musical, ‘Let Me Be The One’, Purple?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Nope. Haha, if only! 🙂
By the way, “Let me be the one” by The Shadows (UK 1975) was on one of the first cassettes I ever had. Fun trivia. It sounded like it was recorded from radio.

Hada
Guest
Hada

It’s safe to say that no preparties or Eurovision events other than the contest itself (and even that’s a big Maybe) will happen.

Ian
Guest
Ian

Today I got a message from a friend of mine who works at the EBU headquarters. He is an ordinary specialist, not involved in Eurovision, but he is a huge fans and really closely follow what is going on over there. He wrote that from their perspective this year’s edition is already doomed and supposedly everyone over there knows that. There are now some complex legal issues left to be sort out. That’s what I know.

Tom
Guest
Tom

But u look already broken

Polliu
Guest
Polliu

I really think Eurovision will not be happening this year…The figures in western countries are appalling day by day.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I didn’t want to agree with you at first. But now after reading the figures…
Cancel it, or postpone it to September.

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

I think Eurovision should be rescheduled. I don’t understand the reason not to reschedule (yes you just find a new date for end of summer where the venue is available and you invite all the delegations to re-register. If some delegation is unable to attend because of some clash or conflict they can drop out — though to be fair what other plans would the delegations have for the summer, right now everything has been cancelled or put on hold!) Meanwhile for the pre-parties like EiC — they should have an online conference video call with all the acts performing… Read more »

RIYA
Guest
RIYA

Olympics Dates will be dominating tv-broadcasts during the end of the summer…

Sebas
Guest
Sebas

I’d prefer postponement to summer or just after above show with no audience to be honest.

Jimmy Smit
Guest
Jimmy Smit

“Cafes and restaurants will also shut, as well as sports clubs, saunas, coffee shops and sex clubs.“

Was it really necessary to include a reference to sex clubs at the end of the article? Like that’s relevant either at all or in particular for the users of wiwibloggs? Think about where that paragraph starts and where it ends. Saunas does the job enough for anyone who would care. End the sentence on coffee shops, for goodness sake.

Tusan
Guest

Convents have wifi? The things I learn…

Jimmy Smit
Guest
Jimmy Smit

Wiwibloggs is for news, info and reactions to Eurovision, and this specific article is about the coronavirus affecting a Eurovision-related event; it is reasonable to suggest that this information should be appropriate for all audiences.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Interesting criticism, but not one that I share. Careful Jimmy, William (the post author) created Wiwibloggs, so he technically decides what it is for and how to use it. His editorial style is celebrated for being informative, sassy and very open-minded when it comes to human rights. His way of ending the sentence might be the tip of the hat to make us laugh, but it is also a genuinely informative point to those who live in Western Europe.

Jimmy Smit
Guest
Jimmy Smit

I’m not denying that it may be a genuinely informative point, Purple. My reflection was that people do not primarily come to Wiwibloggs for information about the openings and closures of local sex clubs in the host city — and that, given the emphasis on Eurovision and the site’s wide audience, it seems reasonable to suggest that such information stay appropriate for all, which I think the site has always been. I appreciate that’s a delicate line; I thought the site did a great job last year, for example, to always make its discussion of Hatari accessible for all. It… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Haha, well to be fair, there are much better places to discuss UK policy than on Wiwibloggs. But ultimately that decision isn’t mine; indeed, it was just an opinion.

It turns out all the Dutch press info contained the terms in the list as William stated, so he has been thorough in this case.
As for not including bars, cinemas etc… I am not sure on the clear specifics of those. In the UK, supermarkets are to remain open, for example.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The Netherlands is known for its sex clubs and they are one of the types of venues that are specifically being mentioned in recent media reports. In this report from Forbes – a respected businesses magazine – sex clubs are the very first thing listed in their report on Dutch businesses being forced to close.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/03/15/coronavirus-leads-to-closures-of-dutch-sex-shops-and-cannabis-cafes-but-bike-shops-to-stay-open/

Jimmy Smit
Guest
Jimmy Smit

I think it’s slightly naive to equate Forbes, which is clearly aimed at adults, and Wiwibloggs, which will naturally attract a young audience.

ag89
Guest
ag89

@Jimmy, I am sure most of Wiwibloggs’ readers belong to the category of potential users of sex clubs despite they probably belong to younger age groups. Most of the readers are still +18 which means some of them are for sure interested in sex clubs and its services.

And also: this line with sex clubs adds a bit of fun to a very serious topic so it’s ok.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks Robyn; informative.

Hada
Guest
Hada

Also pretty relevant, because by their very nature they are a potential focus for the virus to spread.

Amadeus
Guest
Amadeus

Wow. What a prude. Too prudish that he’d rather let an important part of the news story go unreported. Pathetic.

Anita
Guest
Anita

The odds have the Tears songs now in first and second place. It is a pity there will be no competition. The pity is that this whole corona thing happened to the world and especially Europe. But now it is there, all we can do we should do. The pictures and reports from Italy are devastating.
Maybe wiwibloggs can organize a youtube live event with “semifinals” and voting from wiwibloggsfans or something…

Sara
Guest
Sara

As a high school student in the Netherlands who will be at home for the next 3 weeks I can say that the situation is a bit surreal right now. Since they’re cancelling everything, I’m afraid ESC will be cancelled too, but I thinks it’s for the best. Public health is the most important right now. Esc will come.

Amadeus
Guest
Amadeus

All Eurovision events this year need to be cancelled! It’s so reckless and irresponsible to let them go on. Shame on the EBU for taking their sweet time with this. This will just get more people exposed to becoming infected. Just call it off. Staying alive and healthy is more important than a song contest.

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

At this point, just cancel the event.

Hector
Guest
Hector

Well, if Eurovision was to be held without an audience, I guess they could raise the maximum of people on stage during the performance, if that makes any sense. Just saying, it’s an option, and of course surely every member of each delegation will be tested to see if they can attend or not the contest

Citizen of Memel
Guest
Citizen of Memel

I think the best option now is to arrange the ESC without the audience and fancy events. It includes no pre-parties, no Eurovision village, no red carpet – nothing, nada, nicht, nichevo. We must think about the health of all Europeans first instead of thinking “I bought, I want, I need, I have to”. Coronavirus has not reached its peak in Europe yet so it’s zero chances that situation will improve drastically by April (they must give an answer by April because of the stage building). And warm temperature, sadly, seems irrevelant in stopping virus spread since it reached Africa… Read more »

Elbie
Guest
Elbie

Eurovision without an audience is a past station I think, all events >100 people are canceled. There is no way to have only 100 people of those 41 delegations. Let alone camera/sound/lighting personell.

Jay
Guest
Jay

They should postpone it! Have been attending eurovision in conceer for 2 years in a row now and its such a nice event! ;(

Stephen Hall
Guest

Unless there’s a miracle, it’s going to be a massively reduced broadcast but I would prefer that to no contest at all. Yes, Eurovision has always had a crowd but it used to be a fairly passive audience who were hardly shown on screen prior to the 2000s. The show happened and was a success. Some older people actually think it was a better contest without all the screaming and flag-waving. I don’t agree but it would be an interesting switch-up and it is just for one year.

Alex
Guest
Alex

what alternatives are they exploring? for real? none of the acts will take the risk to travel to Netherlands before Eurovision so they should cancel the party immediately and refund the fans. Now about ESC, it’s almost obvious that there will be no audience. The question remains if there is a possibility to postpone it (this is what they are exploring right now) or invite all the artists in Rotterdam without audience (which is risky and not everyone would like to take the risk…) One way or another, this isn’t going to be ideal and i feel sorry for the… Read more »

Karworld
Guest
Karworld

Having seen the quick evolution of the illness in Spain, who has taken serious actions knowing the experience from Italy, either all governments in Europe take this spread seriously and oblige everybody to stay at home from now, or they will see the infected triple day by day. In Spain we are already all at home and in 24h we had 2000 new cases. In Italy 300 deaths in 24 hours. Eurovision in concert must unfortunately be cancelled.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

I think every country is deciding what it thinks is best, and personally that is fine with me. I know the UK seems to be getting a bit of hate at the moment, but I understand the approach they are taking – the idea is to spread the virus as smoothly as possible – there is a serious risk that this is going to be around for months, potentially years before it is under control. Actions need to be sustainable and measured – temporary lockdowns work in a crisis but time will tell how long people are willing to live… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

The UK is doing fine though. The reasoning behind the lack of measures taken to contrast the virus is absolutely crazy, but, at the same time, other countries are seriously overreacting. The situation here in the UK doesn’t demand anything more than the precautions already suggested by the government and the NHS. It’s only if things get serious that you need to bring in the big guns and take drastic decisions as Italy’s. The reason why in Italy things got so bad is not because they thought the virus was a non-issue, but because they didn’t act promptly and the… Read more »

Karworld
Guest
Karworld

I respect your opinion, but let me tell you that if you already have some cases in the UK, your government should rush to closedown all citizens as soon as possible. As said, the Spanish government was fast to react and had the first cases under control. And despite of this, hundreds of cases started to appear from who knows where. .People move a lot and it’s very contagious before having any symptoms. The only way to control it is to stay at home.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Problem is, you’re only spreading panic that way. The virus is deadly only to those with a weak immune system, so it’s them who should fear it the most. If you want to take measures to protect those people, that’s a sensible choice, but shutting everything down sends a horrible message: we are afraid, we will all die. That’s just irresponsible. Coronavirus is spreading fear, not death and I honestly don’t know what’s worse. The most sensible thing to do would be: – Discourage people from travelling abroad, unless they need to come back home because they got stuck like… Read more »

Karworld
Guest
Karworld

Joshua, my friend, your opinion is the sme I had 7 days ago. It’s true we had still few cases in Spain one week ago. But my opinion has changed. Some of the measures you are commenting are dangerous. Coming back home? NO. The first uncontrolled cases in Spain came with those coming back from Italy, who had closed classes at university. Within Spain, the first uncontrolled cases where in Madrid and many have spread the illness to the coast areas because they wanted to spend the quarantine in their second residence there. Everybody must stay where they are. About… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

They obviously wouldn’t get back home without any screening test or a quarantine. Airports also need to implement some measures to contain the spread. As for the “beloved elderly” thing, that’s not what I’m talking about when I say people are panicking, even though the thought of losing a beloved one makes people panick. But closing things down and banning social gatherings when your country has just a handful of cases is irrensponsible and unsensible. It’s not bad, just pointless. Anyway, as researches go on, we should be able to find a way to contrast it. I’m still confindent that… Read more »

Karworld
Guest
Karworld

Agree it will last long. But it spreads so quickly that one of the objectives of this closedown is avoiding a quick pick in order not to collapse the health services. And even the quick decisions, measures and closedown, in Spain the excellent public health service is already collapsed: the state is even using already private hospitals.

Thanos
Guest
Thanos

I completely agree with you. Here in Greece we actually took some measures although we have 331 cases of coronavirus, which are considerably less than Italy, Spain or Germany but the situation can very easily worsen! The UK in particular needs to stop their neo-liberal policies in this sector and take the appropriate measures or else their situation will become worse than Italy’s.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Interesting fact. The UK had its first case on 31 Jan – the exact same day as Italy. Now nobody really knows how this virus transmits. I just think it’s helpful to put faith in what each country thinks is the best approach. Medical experts are advising governments in every country, we have to trust they are making the right decisions.

Karworld
Guest
Karworld

Another interesting fact. The first case in Spain was a German in Gran Canaria. The second an English in Mallorca. Then Chinese in Malaga and the boom people coming back home from Italy. If we all had closed borders and flights, the situation might have been different.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I don’t think anyone would have seriously considered closing borders after one or two cases. The virus is here to stay now, we’ve all just got to do the best we can to control it, in the way we believe is best

Alex
Guest
Alex

Postpone the contest.

Mike Soto
Guest
Mike Soto

You’re right, Alex. The EBU and other authorities need to take a second look at August before it’s too late.

Thanos
Guest
Thanos

Finally the Netherlands are starting to take serious measures! The UK needs to act quickly as well in my opinion. If strict measures are taken in time by all governments, then perhaps we could calm the crisis a bit down. Which means that we will perhaps enjoy a near-normal Eurovision 2020!

Big Little
Guest
Big Little

This virus isn’t going away anytime soon, despite the measures!

Thanos
Guest
Thanos

Yeah I know, the point of the measures isn’t to make it completely disappear, but to reduce the number of people who get sick right now, so that the healthcare system can take care of them (if everyone gets sick all in once the hospitals won’t be able to cope with the situation). The virus will continue to exist, but the hospitals will be able to keep up, and the crisis will calm down, if the measures are followed (here in Greece we also have closed down almost everything but some people choose not to follow the restrictions).

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

The measures we are seeing from governments across Europe are intended to slow the virus, not eliminate it. Ergo, the only logical conclusion is that the virus will still very much exist in April. What governments do about re-introducing public gatherings at that point is anyone’s guess, but my money is on it being extended certainly into May, perhaps beyond. Eurovision is just not going to happen as we would all like it to in May. So, I would be making serious plans for each country to record in its own city. Unfortunately, I just think there is no way… Read more »