The Dutch government will reintroduce lockdown measures on the nightlife industry, with bars, nightclubs and music festivals to close their doors until 13th August. Festivals and events will be required to return to the fixed seating and use the Testing Before Access measures.
The Netherlands had reopened back on 26th June; given cases were declining, around two-thirds of the country’s population have received at least one vaccination dose.
However, since the reopening of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and festivals, new cases have risen dramatically, with around 5,400 new cases reported in a 24-hour period from 8th-9th July last week compared with the previous week, where less than 1,000 cases total were reported.
The Dutch Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge, said:
“I think the sharp rise in infection numbers are a reason to request urgent advice from the outbreak management team.”
The Health Minister confirmed around three-quarters of new cases recorded were occurring among young people, with more than half having contracted the Delta variant.
Renowned clubbing institutions such as Melkweg in Amsterdam have already confirmed they will be closed during this period, it said on their Facebook page;
“Today, we have decided that we will not be organizing test events for the next three weeks, and with that, the planned club nights will also be cancelled during that period. Due to the increasing number of infections, we do not believe that we can guarantee a safe environment for the public, employees, and artists. An annoying decision, because last weekend we too saw the need for everyone, but safety is paramount.”
Furthermore, Dutch electronic magazine ‘This is Our House’ have penned an open letter to the Dutch government in which they highlight their dismay at the decision, they say;
“This resembles discrimination of the nightlife sector vis-à-vis the travel industry. Why are aeroplanes allowed to be crammed and a festival site not? We are curious how lawyers view this. Especially when you see how many infections eventually enter our country, as souvenirs from abroad.”
To read the full open letter, click here.
What is next for Dutch nightlife? Other announcements also being made around the same time in places like Barcelona, Spain, where indoor nightlife has also been closed this weekend due to a sharp rise in cases.
Are we going to see a whole host of other countries follow suit, and when will we really see an end to all of this?