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.
— EurovisionInConcert (@ESCinConcert) March 15, 2020
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.