Many heading towards Dutch beaches; Beware of crowding and heat: Officials
In the midst of a heatwave, crowds were beginning to flock to the Dutch beaches in Castricum, Zandvoort and Bloemendaal, and in Zeeland on Saturday. Municipalities were already calling on visitors to stay away even before noon, warning that heat would be difficult to deal with in traffic, and that social distancing was of concern due to overcrowding.
On the roadways, those driving towards the beaches were advised they would need an extra 30 minutes to reach the coast, according to travel association ANWB. Trains running towards Zandvoort were also getting busy, according to Hart van Nederland.
"In this heat with your family in the car in a traffic jam, you should really just not want to go. Zeeland is not locked down. That is not necessary, but we do expect that Zeeland will be full these days," said Harald Bergamann, the vice-chair of the security region that covers Zeeland.
That is why he calls on everyone not to drive to the busy beaches at the same time. "Be aware of the heat, but also of the corona measures! If you choose to take the road, be aware of the traffic. Also inform yourself about the traffic. Look for another beach and visit another time of day Zeeland, avoiding long travel times to busy beaches. ”
The heatwave in the Netherlands is set to last until at least Wednesday, with maximums between 29 and 36 degrees expected every day. Weeronline said that there was a good chance of this turning into a "super heatwave".
Already on Friday, warnings were also issued over heavy crowds at many parks, nature reserves, lakes and tourist attractions in Utrecht and Gelderland, according to Utrecht's crowd monitor.
The number of coronavirus infections in the country has been spiking over the past weeks. On Thursday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte again urged everyone in the Netherlands to adhere to the measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Hubert Bruls, mayor of Nijmegen and head of the council of security regions, said that mayors and enforces will be extra strict in enforcing the rules.