Parties held outside parliament as Dutch pubs close for lockdown
As restaurants and bars closed their doors for the duration of the partial lockdown at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, social media was full of photos and videos of people partying in full tents on the Plein in The Hague. The police had to put an end to one party, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Netherlands went into partial lockdown at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Part of the lockdown is that catering establishments will be closed for everything but takeaways, and that alcohol consumption in public is banned between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. But apparently not everyone in The Hague understood that.
The Hague police put an end to a party in one tent at 10:00 p.m. because coronavirus rules were being violated, a municipal spokesperson said to RTL Nieuws. Steps will be taken against the catering establishment responsible for the party, as well as those who attended it, the spokesperson said.
Mayor Jan van Zanen called the parties "completely irresponsible", according to RTL Nieuws. "These people don't care about hard-working healthcare workers, patients who are in ICU or whose surgery is now being postponed," he said. "Of course people want to party again, but this kind of selfish behavior only makes the measures last longer."
Images of the partying crowds also elicited angry responses on social media. They were called "incomprehensible", "crazy", and a "big fuck you to society", among other things.
Hospitality association KHN distanced itself from the parties, director Dirk Beljaarts said to the broadcaster. "In these times that is not the signal you should send out. It is unacceptable. It also detracts from our carefully built status of a safe hospitality industry that thousands of hospitality entrepreneurs and their staff built up in recent months."