Amsterdam shuts cafes over Covid violations; Catering industry lawsuit dismissed
The Amsterdam security region closed two catering establishments with immediate effect this week because they did not adhere to the rules in place to curb the spread fo the coronavirus, Veiligheidsregio Amsterdam-Amstelland announced on Friday - the same day as the court ruled that the Dutch state does not have to relax the rules for the hospitality industry in a lawsuit filed by hospitality association KHN.
The KHN argued that the rules that apply to the catering industry are much stricter than necessary. The association wants social distancing to not apply to groups up to nine people in restaurants, cafes and other catering establishments The KHN also demanded that the government present "objective criteria" based on which rules can be relaxed in the hospitality industry. But the court ruled against the association on both counts.
The association is disappointed. "The ruling is a slap in the face of many catering entrepreneurs and bad news for the sector, because there are still no prospects," chairman Rober Willemsen said to ANP.
The Amsterdam catering establishments ordered closed this week are cafe Reality on Reguliersdwarsstraat and LoFi on Basisweg. According to the security region, LoFi was closed after inspectors in civilian clothing noted a number of violation of the coronavirus measures. "Visitors were facilitated and invited to commit these violations," the security region said. Reality was closed for not taking sufficient measures to ensure social distancing on its outside terrace.
The two businesses will be closed for at least four weeks. They can reopen once they've presented the security region with a concrete plan to better adhere to the coronavirus rules.