New Covid measures a blow, affected sectors say
The sectors and businesses affected by the stricter coronavirus measures the government announced in a press conference on Tuesday are disappointed by the extra restrictions. But most also see the need for them.
ANVR, the organization for travel agencies, is furious about the negative travel advice in effect until mid-January. Director Frank Oostdam told NOS that he'll need a moment to "recover" from that news. "It's a knockdown for our industry," he said. "We don't have an accommodation problem or a travel problem, we have an enforcement and behavior problem. But we'll have to deal with it."
Dirk Nijdam of the Groninger Forum called the new measures "incomprehensible and inscrutable", speaking to NOS. The multi-functional building opened a year ago, but is now largely closed. The three catering businesses were already closed, now the museum, film house and library are also locking their doors. In the first three months after opening, the Forum had over a million visitors. That number plummeted since March.
"There is not much going on here in the north, but I understand that you cannot make policy for every region and city," Nidam added, echoing the sentiment expressed by Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health in the press conference last night. "We do this for each other," De Jonge said.
Community centers are worried about their client base becoming lonely and isolated now that they have to close their doors. "A lockdown is drastic for people in Schilderswijk," Mieke Kuipers of De Mussen community center in Schilderswijk in The Hague said to the broadcaster. "The houses are small and the families often large. The unemployment rate in this neighborhood is high and if people are forced to sit at home and have no daytime activities, the walls will start closing in."
According to Kuipers, local residents come to De Mussen to meet each other and do courses and relax. "Now that we're closed, residents can become isolated." Community center employees will try to keep in touch with the residents in their neighborhood in the coming weeks, by phone or online, she expects.
The Club van Elf, which covers organizations like Efteling, the Open Air Museum, and Apenheul, regrets having to close, but called the closure manageable if it really lasts only two weeks. The club understands the need for the tighter measures and their biggest blows already fell in the summer.
Cinema chain Vue cancelled all movies for the coming weeks. Vue regrets the closure, saying that there has been no Covid-19 infections in its cinemas yet and that social distancing is easy to enforce in a cinema.
Funeral director Caroline van Weede called it sad for all the people who have to bury a loved one that only 30 people will be allowed at a funeral from next week. "30 people really isn't much at a funeral," she said to NPO Radio 1, but added that she understands the measure.
Enforcement officers are not looking forward to enforcing the stricter measures. "I expect major problems in enforcing this," Ruud Kuin of the Nederlandse BOA Bond said to NOS. "If you meet someone you know on the street as a couple, you are not allowed to chat with them. I expect that there will be a lot of misunderstanding and aggression about that."