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Netherlands relaxes restrictions and paves the way for live events

The Government of the Netherlands has announced the further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions for live events, venues and nightclubs. 

From February 18, all locations will be able to stay open until 1am, up from the current 10pm curfew. However, until February 25, coronavirus entry passes must be shown at businesses such as cinemas, theatres, music venues and professional sporting events. 

Once inside these locations, rules on assigned seating, face mask wearing and staying 1.5 metres apart will no longer apply, and capacity limits have been removed though events or premises holding more than 500 people will still require face masks and assigned seating. 

From February 25, all opening times for businesses will return to normal and there will no longer be a need for the coronavirus entry pass at venues or events with less than 500 people present. 

Other restrictions such as mask wearing, social distancing and staying seated will also be removed in these settings. 

Large night clubs, discos, festivals and events will also be able to open up without limitations from this date. 

Indoor locations accommodating more than 500 people with no assigned seating, such as nightclubs or festivals, will still require proof of a negative test result upon entry. This does not apply to events like trade fairs and conferences, as there is a continuous flow of visitors. 

In a release, the Dutch Government said: “After nearly two years’ experience dealing with coronavirus, we have learned how difficult it is to cope with the measures that restrict us in our daily lives. And with the relaxation of the measures. 

“So, we need to stay vigilant and help each other so that we avoid infecting others.” 

There have been recent protests against the restrictions in the Netherlands, which have been among some of the most severe in Europe over the last few months. 

Image: Gaurav Jain on Unsplash