Rumours coming from The Hague this week suggest that the current lockdown will not be completely lifted at Friday’s press conference. Restaurants and shops across the Netherlands, however, are fed up with the strict rules and many have confirmed that they will open for business as usual on Saturday, regardless of any restrictions.
Unlikely Dutch government will lift all lockdown restrictions
With the national COVID-19 infection rate soaring, many doctors and medical experts are concerned about the effect the Omicron wave will have on the Dutch healthcare system and its members of staff. With this in mind, it looks as though the Dutch government is set to lift some restrictions for the retain industry, but keep the hospitality industry closed for the time being.
However, business owners across the country have become frustrated with the government’s approach, and many have said their shops and restaurants will open their doors to customers this weekend, regardless of the restrictions that might be in place.
Shops and restaurants across the Netherlands to reopen
NOS reports that the retail chains Ziengs, Scapino, Shoeby, and Score will reopen on Saturday in some municipalities. “We see that stores in countries around us are open and the Dutch are going to shop there en masse. That costs us turnover,” says Roy van Keulen, CEO at the company that owns Ziengs and Scapino.
Those in the hospitality industry are also rebelling against the rules. Thijmen van Gorkum, who owns a restaurant in Bergen op Zoom, told RTL Nieuws he didn’t understand why shops could open for appointments but restaurants couldn’t open for reservations: “It’s the same, isn’t it?… I can’t understand why we have to stay closed.”
Several municipalities voice support for Dutch businesses
Some municipalities have shown support for businesses struggling under the lockdown, announcing that they wouldn’t enforce the restrictions and would thereby allow shops and restaurants to reopen as normal.
Businesses in Zutphen don’t have to worry about being fined for opening this weekend. Neither do any entrepreneurs in Valkenburg, where the mayor has said businesses owners are merely exercising their right to demonstrate.
This week, all municipalities across the country called on the government to come up with a new long-term plan for lifting lockdown and allowing society to reopen, asking ministers to consider the social and economic impacts of restrictions.