Eurovision and COVID-19 - the state of play
Eurovision fans have understandably been feeling anxious about the impact that the Corona Virus or COVID-19.
With rumours and speculation running rampant, we wanted to give you the low-down on the current state of play and how it may impact you.
So let's start with some common questions:
Is Eurovision going to be cancelled?
In a sense, no one knows. However the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Dutch broadcasters (NPO) and Rotterdam City Council are still going full steam ahead.
Announcements were made this week about the opening ceremony and the gold carpet, with next round of tickets still to be released March 26.
A NPO spokesperson spoke to the De Telegraaf yesterday (March 12) with the article saying:
Two months in advance, the organisation finds it too early to take 'far-reaching' decisions about this, but is monitoring the situation. "We will continue to work hard to create an unforgettable Eurovision in May."
Additionally the 'NL Times' stated that Rotterdam tourism alderman Said Kasmi (D66) said "I think there should be an examination in mid-April about how things stand then. So we still have plenty of time," Kasmi said.
Update: newsnow says Mayor Aboutaleb of Rotterdam will take decision early April.
But I heard the Dutch are shutting down all indoor events?
That is true. But only until the end of March. Gatherings of more than 100 people are to be cancelled including closure of public places such as museums, concert venues, theatres, sports clubs and the cancellation of sports matches and other events.
But we repeat this is only until March 31st.
Could the contest go ahead without an audience?
There is no official word that this is an option, however it is likely to be a back-up scenario.
Eurovision is ultimately a TV show with almost 200 million viewers compared to the much smaller numbers in the stadium.
Recently Denmark held its National Final 'Dansk Melodi Grand Prix' behind closed doors.
IF it does happen, it may be disappointing to those with tickets but at least our beloved contest will continue.
Will I get my money back for my tickets if the event is cancelled?
For your tickets, most likely, but wait for official confirmation.
If its cancelled or no live audience can I claim my trip back on insurance?
This will come down to your policy but most likely no. Some include a 'cancel for any reason' clause but that would have been quite strongly evident when you took out your insurance.
All other travel queries
It is paramount you check with the airline, travel provider or accommodation on what your options are with different types of cancellations.
You may be reimbursed if your flight is cancelled, you may have options to change dates at a cost or there may be many other options.
This will all come down to individual circumstances.
No one giving you advice, be that friends, family or Facebook, will know your individual circumstances. This is up to you to find out with those providers.
Plan now for potential changes
We may not know what happens at Eurovision until mid-April and there is nothing we can do about that.
What we can all do is plan for what you'll do if there is no live audience or no event. Will you still take your trip? If you cancel what penalties will you take on? Are you travelling in a group? Are you all agreed on the action you will take?
Understanding all these options now means you know what to do IF something changes.
We are all anxious about what will happen with the contest. But there is little, well nothing really, we can do to change that outcome.
What we can control is planning for change and not adding to other people's anxiety.
Please don't share rumours, or hype up any part of the news. It may make you feel better but may add to many other's anxiety.
This seems obvious but don't get COVID-19 if you can. If you're quarantined you won't be going anywhere!
Follow health advice from your State or Federal government.
And finally... listen to all the 41 songs and enjoy the music that brought us all together in the first place!