The Eurovision Song Contest is the latest major event to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the EBU said they had taken the "difficult decision" to call off this year's contest, which was due to take place in Rotterdam in May, and that it was one made with "deep regret".

"Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead," the EBU said.

"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 EBU has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned."

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"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," they added.

"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."

Lesley Roy was due to represent Ireland at the contest with her song Story Of My Life.

RTE's Michael Kealy, Ireland's Head of Delegation for Eurovision 2020, said of the announcement: "The cancellation of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam is disappointing but completely understandable in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

"RTÉ had been working closely with our writer/performer Lesley Roy and creative directors THISISPOPBABY and we were all very excited about how this years' entry was shaping up. We’re disappointed for Lesley and the whole creative team behind Story of My Life which we felt was an offering with huge potential representing Ireland.

"RTÉ looks forward to continuing to engage with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and our broadcasting colleagues throughout Europe on Eurovision and the competition in 2021."

Fans have been taking to Twitter to share their reactions to the news.