Record hours of sunshine making it difficult to stick to coronavirus restrictions
Spring in the Netherlands started out with a record number of sunny hours this year, according to Weerplaza. Over the past 11 days, there were over 100 hours of sunshine in the country, breaking the 1933 record of 98 sunny hours. The sunny weather made it difficult for some people to stick to the social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid 19.
The Netherlands' anonymous tip line Meld Misdaad Anoniem received dozens of tips about people breaking the restrictions in place to curb the spread of Covid-19. Most tips regarded things like parties, bars letting people in, and businesses that are open against the rules like gyms and nail salons, a spokesperson said to NOS on Tuesday. "We see that people are very concerned. They are flabbergasted and angry about these kinds of actions."
There were also tips about small groups of people who are too close together on the street. Meld Misdaad Anoniem can do nothing about these tips, the spokesperson said. "We refer those people to the municipality of community police officer."
During the weekend of March 21 and 22, many groups gathered in parks and on beaches across the country, prompting the government to give mayors the authority to fine people ignoring the ban on groups and to close down popular locations.
This apparently had some effect, as there were far fewer gatherings over this past weekend. Both Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security complimented citizens on their behavior this past weekend.
Meteorologists divide months into ten or eleven day periods, also called 'decades', so that weather trends can be measured "on a scale that is not as rough as a month, but not as sensitive as a day", according to Weerplaza. This past decade of record sunshine ran from March 21 to 31. Every day during that period was almost completely sunny, with only occasional cloud cover. When the sun sets on Tuesday evening, the new record will likely enter the book with 110 to 112 hours of sunshine in De Bilt, the weather service said. "Much higher is hardly possible, so this record will last for a long time."