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Dutch Government announces cautious re-opening

The Government of the Netherlands has announced that cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums, zoos and amusement parks can re-open from today (Wednesday).

Locations are able to open from 05:00 but must close at 22:00. It is also mandatory for visitors over the age of 13 to theatres, music venues, museums and cinemas to present a coronavirus entry pass – which details a recent negative test, recovery from Covid-19 or full vaccination – upon entry.

Masks must also be worn when walking around leisure and hospitality settings, but may be removed when seated at venues such as theatres and cinemas. Assigned seats are also mandatory in these locations.

Despite sections of the entertainment industry opening up, events without assigned seating, such as festivals, are not yet permitted to take place in the Netherlands. Large events with more than 1,250 attendees with assigned seating may only take place outdoors.

No more than 1,250 visitors are allowed at indoor locations for sport, events and culture and maximum capacity with assigned seating is equal to the number of visitors that can be accommodated 1.5m apart. This roughly equates to around one-third of normal capacity.

Hospitality settings have been closed since December 18 to curb the transmission of the more infectious Omicron variant.

Fans will also be able to return to football stadia across the Netherlands for the first time since the sport went behind closed doors in November, though only at a third capacity.

In a statement, the Government said: “We have been fighting the coronavirus pandemic for nearly two years. Not only have we learned how difficult it can be to cope with measures that restrict us in our daily lives, but also how difficult it can be to ease those restrictions.

“We all want to avoid a reversal of the steps to re-open society. This means we need to stay vigilant, and help each other follow the general rules and guidance that still apply. Only together can we move forward.”

Image: Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash