Eurovision live shows to continue after Iceland pull out due to Covid

The Eurovision Song Contest finale is set to go ahead this weekend in Rotterdam with strict safety measures in place after the Icelandic entry pulled out of the live event due a positive Covid test.

Icelandic group Daði og Gagnamagnið withdrew from the live show after one of the band tested positive for Covid-19. The band’s song will remain in the competition and their rehearsal performance, recorded on the stage on 13 May, will be broadcast instead of a live performance.

A few weeks ago, the annual song competition, which was cancelled in 2020, was given permission by Dutch authorities to host a live audience of up to 3,500, with strict Covid safety rules in place. 

This year’s Eurovision is part of the Fieldlab Events research programme, a joint initiative between the Dutch government and the country’s events sector which aims to support the safe return of in-person events.

The event is spread across nine live shows, ending in the finale on Saturday 22 May, with the Rotterdam Ahoy arena hosting just 20% of its usual capacity.

All ticket holders are required to present a valid negative Covid test certificate taken within 24 hours, and must also take a test five days after the event. They are also required to wear a mask in the venue when away from their seats. 

The delegations from each country are also subject to a strict test-and-trace and quarantine protocol, which has already seen members of the Romanian, Maltese and Polish delegations having to take Covid tests as precautionary measures.