Several cities issue new Covid-19 rules for Easter; Police fine dozens

Dutch police car
Stock photo of a Dutch police vehicle. April 8, 2019jomahepu@gmail.comDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

A number of municipalities in the Netherlands have put in place new measures in order to avoid drawing crowds over Easter weekend. This comes as police and municipal authorities across the country continue to dish out fines for violations of the social distancing rules currently in place.

Anti-crowding measures differ considerably between municipalities in terms of their extremity, NOS reports. While some municipalities have closed off dikes to cyclists motorcyclists and access to certain roads, others have opted to shut only holiday parks closed or even to keep as much open as possible.

Measures tend to be more lax in the northern of the country, especially in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe where there have been fewer hospitalizations as a result of Covid-19.

The opposite phenomenon can be observed in the southern part of the Netherlands. In the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Zeeland, for example, many municipalities have opted to ban overnight stays in hotels.

In Amsterdam, a sailing ban has been put in place until Monday, and residents are prohibited from traveling along the coast to their beach houses—a popular activity on Easter weekend.

This comes as dozens of people across the country have been hit with hefty fines for violating rules around social distancing. On Thursday, seventeen residents of Uilenstede, a student complex located in Amstelveen, received fines for gathering in spite of the mayor's guidelines. According to NU.nl, the residents had been sitting together outside one of the apartments in the complex, and were each fined 390 euros after police arrived.

Other groups have received fines across the Netherlands on Thursday and Friday. In Elburg, warnings and a fine were issued to four young people for sitting together on a bench, according to local news service De Stentor. In the town of Purmerend, local security officials fined two youths for breaking into a skate park that had been closed-off to prevent gathering. According to a statement on the matter, while one of the two individuals was a minor, the other was 18 years of age, meaning that he received a larger fine over and above a criminal record.

The rules, which do not hold for people living in the same household, are intended to prevent crowding and thus slow the spread of coronavirus. Adults are eligible for a fine of 390 euros for violating the rules, while minors may be handed a lighter penalty of 95 euros.

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