Coronavirus: Authorities break up several parties; Rotterdam hotel shuttered
Municipal authorities across the Netherlands reported several incidents where they intervened to enforce a strict personal distance requirement and a ban on groups in public of more than two people. The strict requirements were part of a package of measures introduced by the Dutch government to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Very busy recreation park
An influx of athletes and visitors at the Wilhelminaberg, an artificial mountain surrounded by a recreation park, forced authorities in Landgraaf and South Limburg to cut off access to the area. Officials said the crowds arrived "despite the frequent repetition of the measures against the spread of the corona virus. With these numbers of visitors it is not possible to keep a safe distance from each other," wrote the Limburg-Zuid emergency services office.
Fences and gates were used to cut off access to the the mountain. Violators will be fined 390 euros, the authorities said on Sunday.
Dozens at Rotterdam hotel party
In Rotterdam, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb issued an emergency order to close the Grand Hotel Central on Saturday afternoon. A group of 24 young people were found in a hotel room there as part of a party that started Friday night and continued into early Saturday morning.
The hotel will remain closed indefinitely, a city spokesperson told AD. The young people were also accused of setting a fire in a hotel stairwell, and using a clever method to sneak past security in order to hold the party.
The hotel contacted police when they discovered the party taking place, according to Nu.nl.
"We deeply regret the incident last night. We think the immediate closure of the hotel is disproportionate, partly because we had already implemented all additional security measures internally at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning," the hotel told Nu.nl. This included extra security cameras and staff, and removing larger rooms from its available inventory.
Darkened house party with a look-out
Saturday night police in Delft discovered a house party with a spotter on the street meant to give warnings to partiers if the police were seen near by. Despite the darkened home, officers found the gathering and broke it up, handing out a fine to the organizer.
Also on Saturday night, police in Loon op Zand, Noord-Brabant, broke up a group of five residents having drinks around a fire pit together. They went home after a warning was issued.
In Waalwijk, officers said they too broke up a small gathering in Waalwijk.