Earlier in the week, it was reported that Italian broadcaster RAI were discussing the possibility of moving Sanremo 2021 to April, following Covid concerns. However, after top-level discussions, RAI has now confirmed that the dates of Sanremo 2021 are unchanged and will take place from 2 to 6 March.

The Italian broadcaster held a meeting involving network management, Sanremo 2021 artistic director Amadeus and the CEO of RAI Fabrizio Salini.

RAI confirmed that among the issues discussed was the “health and organisational protocol”. Organisers of Sanremo 2021 will soon submit a plan to relevant authorities that would outline how to safely use a live audience at the Ariston Theatre.

Can Sanremo 2021 have a live audience?

The Italian government recently introduced new restrictions in an effort to curb the impact of Covid-19. The restrictions began on 15 January and are scheduled to end on 5 March.

The new rules permit television productions to go ahead, including those filmed in concert halls and theatres, provided safety measures are followed. However, the rules are clear that such events cannot be held with a live audience.

Sanremo 2021 is due to run from 2 to 6 March, while the new Italian restrictions are scheduled to end on 5 March. This means that for the first four of the five nights of Sanremo, the show would not be allowed to go ahead with a live audience.

But from RAI’s announcement, it seems they are doing all they can to create a safe scenario for Sanremo 2021 to use a live audience.

Other audience options for Sanremo 2021

With the standard Sanremo audience situation looking unlikely for 2021, it seems that RAI will have to come up with a new solution for safely including an audience at the Ariston Theatre.

In their announcement RAI did not mention the recent proposal to house the Sanremo audience on a nearby cruise ship, effectively creating a Covid-free bubble. Sanremo organisers earlier said they were considering the idea.

Italian media have also mentioned another possibility for keeping the Sanremo audience safe. This idea is to have the Sanremo audience made up of already vaccinated doctors and nurses. It would be a way of showing appreciation to hard-working Italian medical staff and to minimise the risk of Covid-infections.

However, as medical experts have pointed out, there is no such thing as a “Covid-free” event. Even with testing and bubbles, there is still the risk of infection.

Around Europe, most broadcasters are choosing to hold their national finals with no live audience.

But regardless of whether or not Sanremo 2021 will have a live audience, preparations are well underway for the show. The Sanremo orchestra is starting its rehearsals, and the 26 competing acts have been announced.

What do you think? Would Sanremo be the same without a live audience? What solution should RAI use? Tell us your thoughts below!

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