Can everyone participate in Eurovision?
Canceled last year, the international music competition, which brings together countries from around the world, must face Covid-19 this year.
A few hours before its opening, this Sunday, in Rotterdam (Netherlands), a member of the Icelandic delegation tested positive for Covid-19, after a case discovered on Saturday in the Polish delegation.
Like the Polish delegation, the Icelandic delegation will not be able to attend the opening ceremony of the music competition.
“Unfortunately, that means the Icelandic delegation will not be treading on the turquoise carpet this afternoon,” Eurovision Song Contest said, referring to the official opening of the competition.
"In accordance with our strict health and safety protocol, this person has been placed in isolation and, as a precaution, the other members of the delegation will also undergo a PCR test and self-isolate," said the organizers in a statement.
Teams from Romania and Malta, who were staying in the same hotel as those from Iceland and Poland, will also not participate as a precaution, and will also perform PCR tests, Eurovision said.
It remains to be seen what will happen for the rest of the competition.
The Icelanders of Daði og Gagnamagnið should theoretically play Thursday, in the semi-finals, to hope to secure a place in the final.
"We are feeling healthy and we are crossing our fingers to play on Thursday," the group posted on Twitter.
A member from the icelandic team tested positive for covid-19 today.
Gagnamagnið just got tested again and we are on our way to the hotel to wait for the results.
We are feeling healthy and crossing our fingers that we will get to perform on Thursday.
Thanks for the support.
- Daði Freyr 🥑 (@dadimakesmusic) May 16, 2021
Eurovision is being organized this year under strict rules imposed by the Dutch government to allow the competition to be held in the Ahoy Arena performance hall in the port city. Delegations must follow strict protocols, stay separate from the public and be tested every 48 hours. The performances, including the dress rehearsals, the two semi-finals, Tuesday and Thursday, and the final next Saturday, will only be able to accommodate 3,500 spectators, or around 20% of the capacity of the Ahoy Arena.
The French Barbara Pravi, often compared to Edith Piaf, prances at the head of the forecasts with her title "Here" and could allow the Hexagon to gain its first victory in 44 years. It is followed by Italy, then Malta. France, being at the origin of the competition, is automatically qualified for the final.