Netherlands re-enters nightlife shutdown after surge in Covid-19 cases

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Nightlife venues and music festivals in the Netherlands will be shut down for another month, only being allowed to re-open on August 14th. This news comes just two weeks after venues and festivals had been given the green light to resume operations. The sector fully reopened on June 26th. The swift pivot in plans comes after a worrying increase in the number of reported Covid-19 cases, particularly in the under 30 age group which is being directly attributed to the reopening of nightlife venues.  

According to DutchNews, new restrictions are being put in place. Bars and restaurants will need to be closed by midnight while nightclubs are prohibited from opening after the number of positive cases surged ‘sevenfold’ in the week since the sector reopened. Prime minister Mark Rutte revealed in a press conference last Friday that within 24 hours, the number of new daily cases soared to 7000. In light of this, Rutte called for a wider behavioural shift, requesting the public “keep parties small and manageable, and keep to the basic rules.”

Tougher restrictions are being put in place, such as strict adherence to the 1.5m social distancing convention and a suspension of the previous “test for access” system for clubs and live music venues. Venues such as theatres, sports venues and other venues with seating can continue to operate, however. This news is disastrous for a number of events and festivals that had been planned to go ahead in the Netherlands in the following weeks.