"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."
The popular singing competition has been going for 64 years, with The Netherlands winning the right to host Eurovision after Dutch singer Duncan Laurence won first place in last year’s contest in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Rotterdam was named as host city in August.
A total of 65,000 people had been expected to attend nine different shows including the final on May 16 at Rotterdam's Ahoy venue. Organisers said they and Rotterdam authorities "will continue a conversation regarding the hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021."
"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," they added.
Europe is now considered to be the epicentre of COVID-19 with more than 3,400 deaths now recorded, according to an AFP tally, surpassing the number in Asia.
Australia’s representative for the 2020 competition was to be Montaigne with her song Don’t Break Me.