The latest news reports that the Dutch government will reimpose restrictions on clubs, music festivals and restaurants again. The new measures will take effect as of this Friday and will last until August 13. The reality in entertainment and catering in the Netherlands is having more ups and downs than a roller coaster.
A few weeks after the lifting of most lockdown measures, the government will once again reimpose restrictions in response to the increase in COVID-19 infections among young adults in recent days. On June 26, some freedom was restored and festivals and clubs began to fill up, bringing back music and fun to everyone, particularly the young. These actions were justified by the low numbers of infections and also the fact that two-thirds of the local population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, by the middle of this week, more than 5,400 cases of infection had been reported, compared with less than 1,000 cases the previous week. This surge in cases is being linked to the opening of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, especially as infections are being reported mostly in the younger population.
Even though a return to a general lockdown is apparently out of the question, targeted measures will be taken to try to prevent the spread of the infection among teenagers and young adults. Some of the restrictions will include closing down cafes and bars at midnight and restricting outdoor events to 1,000 visitors and not allowing more than 500 people at indoor events. According to Hugo de Jonge, Dutch Health Minister, the cases are happening almost exclusively in young people, with half of the infections being caused by the Delta variant. Reportedly, the rule requiring a negative test for entry into venues will also be suspended, which will force clubs and nightclubs to close their doors. Prime Minister Mark Rutte addressed the nation today to deliver the news.
Sadly, the implementation of restrictive rules and new locks could jeopardize events already scheduled to take place in the coming weeks in the Netherlands.
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