Netherlands: hosts open despite gastronomy lockdown

protest against measures
Hosts in the Netherlands are opening despite the gastronomy lockdown

Netherlands, Valkenburg: People enjoy the reopening of shops, bars and restaurants that opened as part of a protest

© Peter Dejong/AP/DPA

In large parts of the Netherlands, restaurant operators have protested against the Corona measures – and opened pubs, cafés and restaurants, sometimes with the approval of the administration.

Almost everywhere in the Netherlands, restaurant operators flouted Corona regulations for a few hours on Saturday and opened their pubs, cafes and restaurants. The hosts were protesting that their industry was initially excluded from lifting the week-long, nationwide lockdown.

Gastro protest action took place in many places with the consent of the municipal administration

In many places, the one-time action was carried out with the consent of the municipal administrations, the ANP news agency reported. The reactions from the audience were therefore positive. “Reopening the catering trade in a controlled manner seems to me to be better than everyone having parties at home,” she quoted a visitor to a student café in Zwolle as saying.

In Utrecht, Mayor Sharon Dijksma promised to continue to work to relax the corona regulations for restaurants. In the small town of Valkenburg, Mayor Daan Prevoo reacted to a similar action on Friday by classifying it as a permitted demonstration. “Demonstrating is a fundamental right,” he told the WNL TV station. Therefore, the police will not intervene.

After almost four weeks, the government in The Hague – under strong pressure from entrepreneurs – partially lifted the strict corona lockdown on Friday. Shops, hairdressers and sports clubs as well as universities have been allowed to reopen since Saturday. However, restaurants, museums, theaters and cinemas must remain closed. In view of the dramatically increased number of infections, the lockdown cannot yet be ended everywhere, explained Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “You can’t do everything at the same time, the risk is too great.” There may be further easing at the end of the month.


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