Amsterdam to better control people in Red Light District amid crowding concerns
Amsterdam is taking a number of crowd managing measures this weekend to make sure that social distancing can be maintained in the Red Light District, local safety office Veiligheidsregio Amsterdam-Amstelland announced. Measures include implementing one-way foot traffic on strategic roads at strategic times, and closing areas that get too crowded. Residents will be able to enter and leave the area at all times, the office promised.
Since the government relaxed coronavirus-related measures, day trippers from the Netherlands and neighboring countries have increasingly been visiting Amsterdam again. Over the past weekend this resulted in jam-packed areas in the city center, raising concerns of a new SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.
To prevent similar situations this weekend, the crowds in the Red Light District will continually be monitored. On Friday and Saturday from 6:00 p.m. through the night, one-way traffic will be implemented throughout the District's lanes and alleyways. Areas that become too crowded, can be closed down temporarily.
Similar measures will be taken to regulate the shopping crowds. One-way pedestrian traffic will apply on Kalverstraat, in the direction from Dam Square to Muntplein, on Saturday and Sunday. People may be asked to wait for others to leave if the street becomes to crowded.
The city will use sign boards and social media to communicate warnings of crowds and instructions on how to proceed to the public.
The Veiligheidsregio reminded business owners that it is their responsibility to ensure customers can stay 1.5 meters apart at all times and that strict hygiene measures are adhered to. "Many foreign visitors in the city center do not know the Dutch corona rules. That gives entrepreneurs extra responsibility," the Veiligheidsregio said.
According to the office, most businesses do their utmost to adhere to the rules. "But a small group seems to adhere to the emergency ordinance less well." Extra checks will be done throughout the city center this weekend, to make sure everyone is sticking to the rules.