Daði og gagnamagnið, Iceland’s representatives in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, will compete in the competition’s semi-finals in Rotterdam this Thursday despite a COVID-19 outbreak in which members of the Polish and Icelandic teams have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, RÚV reports. One member of the Icelandic crew tested positive for COVID-19 and the others are quarantining as they await their test results. If the band is unable to perform live, a recording from their dress rehearsal will be used as their semi-final entry.
Band Vaccinated Before Departure
The competition is taking place in the Netherlands, currently a high-risk area for COVID-19 according to the European Centre for Disease Control. Vísir reports that Icelandic national broadcaster RÚV, who sponsors Iceland’s participation in the competition, requested that the crew be vaccinated before departure to the Netherlands. “And we granted that,” Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason told the outlet. “People are being sent out there on behalf of the Icelandic state where [the virus is widespread]. We have been reluctant to grant such requests but we did so in this instance.”
Just under 40% of Icelandic residents have received one or both shots of COVID-19 vaccine, and authorities are still administering the jab to priority groups including school staff and people with underlying illnesses. Þórólfur admitted that some might consider it unfair to let the group jump the line due to the Eurovision trip.
The Icelandic Eurovision crew received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) single-dose vaccine around ten days ago, shortly before departing for Rotterdam. One member of the crew has now tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which does not surprise Þórólfur. “It’s only been ten days since the vaccination. We know it takes two to three weeks for the vaccine to reach full efficacy.” The infected individual is not part of the on-stage group but has been in contact with them. Their identity has not been revealed for privacy reasons.