Eurovision 2019 winner Duncan Laurence won’t perform live at Saturday’s final after testing positive for coronavirus

The Netherlands' champion is unable to make a live appearance on Saturday after returning a positive COVID-19 test.

Eurovision 2019 winner Duncan Laurence

The previous Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence is no longer scheduled to perform live at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 final on Saturday night after developing mild symptoms of coronavirus and testing positive yesterday (Wednesday 19th May).

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He is required to enter a seven-day isolation period but will appear at the final in a different form.

In a statement, Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer said: “We are of course disappointed, first of all for Duncan, who deserves a live performance on our very own Eurovision stage after his 2019 victory and the worldwide success of Arcade.

“We couldn’t be more proud of his opening act for the first semi-final. Of course we wish Duncan a speedy recovery!”

“Duncan is very disappointed, he has been looking forward to this for two years. We are very happy that he will still be seen in the final on Saturday, May 22,” Laurence’s management said.

A statement shared by the host broadcaster, the European Broadcasting Union, said: “A strict COVID-19 health and safety protocol is being applied at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. All those working within the perimeter of the venue must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 test, not older than 48 hours.

“Since 6 April, when the load-in started in Ahoy, over 24,400 tests have been conducted amongst crew, volunteers, artists, delegation members and press. Only 16 of those (0.06%) have returned positive results. In most cases, they were from people who hadn’t previously been to the venue, or who hadn’t been there recently. To date, no infections have been conclusively traced back to the venue.”

The contestants in the Eurovision 2021 line-up have pre-recorded live performances of their songs which can played during the semi-finals or at Saturday’s grand final if they are unable to perform live. For example, Iceland, who won’t be able to perform live in the upcoming final after Jóhann Sigurður, a member of Daði og Gagnamagnið, tested positive for coronavirus.

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The second Eurovision semi-final airs tonight at 8pm on BBC Four. The final airs Saturday at 8pm on BBC One. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide. Visit our Entertainment hub for all the latest news.