Eurovision Covid infection puts Iceland in quarantine; Malta & Romania leave isolation
A member of Iceland’s delegation to Eurovision tested positive for Covid-19 making the country’s representatives unable to join the show’s opening ceremony on Sunday. A member of the Polish team previously also tested positive for the virus and was forced to skip the opening red carpet event, NOS reported.
The organizers of the competition did not reveal which of the delegation’s members tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. It is also not yet clear how this will impact the country’s participation in the event. Prerecorded performances are meant to be used in case performers are unable to sing during the live competition, but the final decision on this has not yet been made.
Iceland is represented by Daði Freyr in this year’s contest with the song "10 Years". The country, which is seen as one of the favorites to win the event, is set to appear in the second semi-final event on May 20 alongside Poland. In case two countries advance to the final, they would need to perform once again in the final event on Saturday.
The opening ceremony of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest took place at the Cruise Terminal Rotterdam on Sunday evening. Apart from Polish and Icelandic delegations, the teams of Malta and Romania also decided not to join the glitzy event. Members of two delegations stayed in the same hotel with the infected participants and therefore decided to skip the event as a precaution.
The Malta and Romania teams exited their voluntary isolation, the European Broadcasting Union announced on Monday. “Both these delegations will be welcomed to the arena today for rehearsals following negative results from the routine test this morning, as is normal procedure,” the EBU stated.
The Polish delegation all presented negative coronavirus tests, EBU stated. “As a precaution the Polish delegation will remain in quarantine until being retested ahead of dress rehearsals for Semi Final 2, in which Poland perform, on Wednesday.”
The remaining delegations were able to attend the glamorous event and share the message of their songs. They also discussed their experience during the rehearsal week as well as their impressions of the host country. Due to the coronavirus measures, far fewer fans and journalists were able to attend the ceremony.
It's officially Eurovision Week! 🤩— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 17, 2021
Last night, glitz and glamour arrived at the Rotterdam Cruise Terminal with the #Eurovision Turquoise Carpet!
Check out what went down here 👉 https://t.co/jxUAU5WNV2 pic.twitter.com/HQRHNWIr54
The participants were welcomed by, among others, the Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. He called on participants to "open up to others" and said he hoped the event would "restore hope and perspective".
The two semifinal events will be held in Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena on Tuesday and Thursday. 10 qualifiers from each event will then advance to the final event where they will join the host country the Netherlands and other “Big five“ countries that are pre-qualified for the final.
The 65th Eurovision grand final is set to take place on Saturday at 9 p.m.