King's Day 2020 likely to be the hottest on record; Stay home anyway, says Rutte
This year's King's Day is expected to hit its highest ever temperature, according to forecasts from local weather service Weeronline. The temperature on Monday is likely to exceed 17.7 degrees Celsius, making it the warmest King's Day since 2014, when temperatures topped 17.6 degrees Celsius.
King’s Day, or Koningsdag, is one of the most eagerly anticipated public holidays in the Netherlands. However, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the advice of the government to remain home, this year the holiday has been dubbed Woningsdag, or "Home's Day".
The warm weather leading up to the long weekend sent many people out into the parks and nature areas, ignoring the prevailing advice to stay at home as much as possible.
"It's busier on the street right now. It doesn't have to be a disaster, but it would be better if more people stayed at home," said Prime Minister Mark Rutte at his press conference on Friday. "Fortunately, a lot of people are also [staying at home]."
"We try to take strict enforcement measures, but we cannot be everywhere. We have a number of places in view, including the parks," a spokesperson for Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema said to NL Times on Friday. "The parks will only close if there is reason to do so, for example if it is too busy."
With more people out in public the risk is greater that people bump into each other or get too close, Rutte said. "That is the risk if it gets busier on the street."