The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands has been cancelled because of the uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) says.

The event was scheduled to take place in Rotterdam on May 12-16.

The Swiss-based EBU, which organises the large annual television event, said it had looked for other options but came up short.

The decision to cancel the Song Contest was made in light of the restrictions put in place by participating broadcasters and Dutch authorities as well as health considerations for artists, staff and fans.

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It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam. . Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead. . However the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities – means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned. . We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of fans around the world, are extremely saddened that it cannot take place in May. . The EBU, NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue a conversation regarding the hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. . We would ask people to bear with us while we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await any further news in the coming days and weeks. . We would like to pay tribute to all the host broadcaster team in the Netherlands and our 41 Members who have worked so hard on planning this year’s event. . We are all as heartbroken as they are that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be able to be staged in May and know that the whole Eurovision family, across the world, will continue to provide love and support for each other at this difficult time.

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“We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. And we are deeply disappointed about this situation,” EBU Song Contest chief Jon Ola Sand said in a statement.

The EBU is in talks with its Dutch hosts to see whether the event can be staged in Rotterdam next year, Sand said.

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Montaigne was due to represent Australia at Eurovision with her song Don’t Break Me.

AAP