Amsterdam clubs want to reopen without physical distancing; Propose other measure

Inside the Mad Fox club under the W Hotel Amsterdam
Inside the Mad Fox club, located under the W Hotel Amsterdam. 8 March 2019photo: Mad Fox / Facebook

Maintaining social distancing is an impossible task in clubs, according to a group of 26 Amsterdam clubs. They want to reopen without this condition, and propose taking different measures to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. These include only allowing young people in their twenties and thirties into the club, and taking guests' temperature before admittance, Het Parool reports.

"Keeping a meter and a half apart does not work in a club," Pieter de Kroon of the organization for Amsterdam clubs OAC and manager of the Chicago Social Club said to the newspaper. "It makes no sense to open with only a third of the guests. And how do you check that everyone keeps a apart?" 

Instead the clubs want to set an age limit, whereby only young visitors are allowed. "The risk of infection among young people is very small, the figures show," De Kroon said. "The average age in clubs in 24 years." In addition, clubs are also willing to check visitors' temperature with heat cameras or thermometers, and to switch to hand held scanners for security checks. They're also looking into installing more lockers, cleaning more often, and how to increase the safety of payments and consumptions.

The clubs are willing to listen to proposals for more measures from the municipality. "But the most important thing is to have a conversation with us. We now indicate with a number of examples that things can be done differently, but there will undoubtedly be more or better solutions. We also hope that Amsterdam will advocate for this with the government, so that a solution will be found for all clubs," De Kroon said to the newspaper. 

The Amsterdam clubs are very worried that they will not be allowed to reopen with the rest of the hospitality and catering industry - closed until May 28 at least - but that they will fall under the same date as festivals and events, which are banned until at least September. "We cannot continue to incur costs for months that have no income. If this takes longer, then it will be really difficult. We are all in expensive locations, staff costs are not fully reimbursed. And there are also a few new clubs, or clubs that have just been renovated and have less money to get through such a period."