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IBC weighs options after latest government lockdown

Organizers of the 2021 IBC show were weighing their options over the weekend after the Dutch government announced a three-week partial lockdown for the country.

The new restrictions mean people will be asked to work from home as much as possible, and sporting events will be played behind closed doors. Schools, theatres and cinemas will remain open, but with limited capacities, and cafes, bars and restaurants will be told to close at 8 p.m. Restaurants are able to deliver orders after 8 p.m. local time.

The restrictions will be revisited on Friday, Dec. 3. There was no updated guidance on international travel into or out of the country.

This year’s IBC show is due to take place at the RAI in Amsterdam Dec. 3–6, 2021.

In a statement to trade media and posted on the convention website, IBC organizers said they were “assessing the impact [of the partial lockdown] and engaging with our stakeholders. As you can imagine, this is an issue that needs careful consideration and we will communicate our plans as soon as possible.”

The statement went on to say, “The safety and well-being of all IBC2021 attendees remains our number one priority. Thank you for your continued support and patience.”

Previously, IBC officials had stated that the December show was on track to go ahead in a “safe and comfortable way” operating within a perimeter where everyone must show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test before entering the premises.

It is also believed the government is considering bringing back mandatory social distancing measures, legislation that would reportedly take up to two weeks to pass through both houses of parliament.

The number of new coronavirus infections in the country was recorded at more than 16,000 for the second day running today, with the current infection rate of 93.5 per 100,000 people the highest since the pandemic began.

The Netherlands government updated its Covid protocols as recently as Nov. 2 when it reinstated mandatory face mask rules for the public in public areas where no Covid entry passes are used, including supermarkets, shops, libraries, theme parks and train stations.

The broadcasting community has been watching with interest to see if IBC could take place in person and how many people and exhibitors would take part. It is one of three major in-person conventions relevant to the world of broadcasting on the calendar in the next five months, along with CES and the NAB Show.

NAB ended up cancelling its 2021 event, which had been pushed back from spring to the fall earlier.

We will have more on this story as it unfolds. Radio World

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