Celebrate Sint Maarten at home tonight: Security regoins
Traditionally, children in many parts of the Netherlands celebrate Sint Maarten on November 11 by going door-to-door with lanterns and singing either a traditional or silly song in exchange for sweets. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this celebration will look different this year. While none of the security regions in the country banned the celebration outright, many called on residents to rather celebrate at home this year, NU.nl reports after speaking with the security regions.
The security regions in Noord-Holland, including Amsterdam-Amstelland, strongly advise against going door-to-door this year. "Walking door to door with a lantern? Don't do it this year. The Amsterdam-Amstelland region is at the highest risk level and the number of infections is increasing," a spokesperson for the security region said to the newspaper.
A spokesperson for Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam-Rijnmond called it "anything but wise to do these kinds of things if we want to get the virus under control." A spokesperson for Gooi en Vechtstreek said much the same. Utrecht, where Sint Maarten is the patron of the city, arranged an online festival for kids to enjoy at home. Security region Twente asked children and parents to celebrate by singing songs at home.
A number of security regions are allowing the celebration on Wednesday evening, but with some extra conditions. These include Groningen, Drenthe, Friesland, and Gelderland-Midden.
In Groningen, the advice is to go door to door in very small groups, and to make sure singing children are kept at least 1.5 meters away from the front door. "Parents must ensure that the groups and the number of chaperones remain as small as possible," the security region said. The advice is to only hand out prepackaged treats, and to stay home and not open the door if you have symptoms.