With the next coronavirus press conference scheduled to take place on September 14, sources in The Hague have revealed that the Dutch government plans to lift the 1,5-metre distance rule and introduce a mandatory coronavirus certificate for both the hospitality and cultural sectors from September 25.
Introducing COVID-19 certificates in the NetherlandsExactly one month since the last government press conference saw Prime Minister Mark Rutte relax restrictions for secondary and higher education in the Netherlands, sources now confirm that more relaxations are on the way.
The next stage of relaxations – which were scheduled to take place on September 20 but have been pushed back to September 25 – will see the 1,5-metre distance rule lifted across all sectors and spaces. However, the removal of this so-called basic rule will result in the introduction of other measures.
Moving forward, all catering establishments, theatres and cinemas will be required to request proof of either vaccination, recent recovery, or a negative coronavirus test in the form of a coronavirus certificate via the CoronaCheck app. The rule will only apply to customers / visitors over the age of 13 and will mean businesses are permitted to admit up to 75 percent of their usual customer capacity.
Certain coronavirus restrictions will remain in placeWhile more and more restrictions continue to disappear, certain measures will remain in place for the time being. Not only will face masks remain mandatory on public transport and at airports, but nightclubs will remain closed and bars and restaurants will continue to adhere to the enforced closing times (12 am to 6 am).
The government is also yet to make a decision in regards to the future of indoor and outdoor events, but from September 25 football stadiums will once again be filled to capacity. However, all fans will be required to present either proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test result.
Dutch cultural and hospitality sectors frustrated by new rulesThe ID&T Group, an organisation that represents 90 festivals and live music venues in the Netherlands, and Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN), the largest union representing Dutch hospitality businesses, have both expressed their frustration with the introduction of a mandatory coronavirus certificate.
ID&T argues that the cabinet “refuses to take the cultural sector seriously,” with chair Ritty van Straalen adamant that both indoor and outdoor events can go ahead safely and responsibly at full capacity under the conditions set in the Fieldlab trial events. “Why should the cultural sector remain closed if football and other sectors can open completely?” Van Straalen asks.
KHN shares Van Straalen’s anger, with the director Dirk Beljaars emphasising that the introduction of coronavirus certificates just adds extra work and responsibility for bars and restaurants. “There is already a huge staff shortage,” he says. “Thousands of business owners are not going to enforce [the rules].”