Eurovision in limbo as coronavirus measures interfere with preparations

The Eurovision song contest hangs in uncertainty as increasingly many European nations introduce restrictions on travel. The Lithuanian representative is among those who are prevented from travelling to the Netherlands to film videos for the Eurovision broadcast in mid-May.

Performers from Israel, Italy, France, Estonia and Lithuania cannot come to record ‘postcards’, short introductory videos shown before each song, due to the strict coronavirus measures introduced by their countries.

“We hope that those videos can be recorded later,” a spokeswoman for the Eurovision organisers is quoted by pzc.nl. “The production of the Eurovision song contest has become quite a puzzle due to the coronavirus crisis.”

However, preparations for the event, which is to take place in Rotterdam on May 12-16, are still “in full swing”, according to the her.

The Roop, the band that is representing Lithuania at Eurovision this year, announced last Thursday they were cancelling their trip to the Netherlands. They were supposed to shoot the video last weekend weekend.

“We do not want to risk our own or the public’s health,” the band’s lead singer Vaidotas Valiukevičius said back when abstaining from overseas travel was still a recommendation rather than a rule.

As of Monday, Lithuania is under a nationwide quarantine which includes a ban on its nationals to leave the country, with some exceptions. Unless extended, the quarantine will last until March 30.

Eurovision organisers say that whether the song contest can take place will depend on what happens in the 41 participating countries.

“With two months to go until the live shows, it is still too early to make far-reaching decisions. The health of our employees, visitors, fans, partners, volunteers and other stakeholders is of course paramount,” they said in the statement.

The European Broadcasting Union can decide to cancel Eurovision, as can Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam which is hosting this year’s event.

He said last week, however, that it was “still too early” for that, according to pzc.nl.

LRT.LT

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