Lockdown threat sends many to city shops; Many cities say “stay away” and warn of crowds
Crowds of people descended on big box stores and city centers on Monday after it leaked out that a total lockdown was likely to be introduced in the Netherlands starting Monday night. An employee at DIY shop Hornbach in Amsterdam told one NL Times staffer that they were shocked to see about a hundred people queued up at the checkout lines.
In city center shopping districts many people raced to try and finish some Christmas shopping while they still had a chance. announced. "It's really extreme," said an employee of Parfumerie Marjo in Amsterdam to Nu.nl. "Customers say they had no intention of shopping, but are just doing it now to buy Christmas gifts quickly."
Many municipalities were forced to issue warnings to ask people not to crowd together and to avoid central districts and shopping streets. Eindhoven Mayor John Jorritsma wrote, “Use your common sense. Stay away from the city center. Don't join the madness of getting all your stuff in before closing time and infecting yourself,” he stated.
“Only buy those presents after January 19,” he said in reference to the expected end-date of the total lockdown. The City of The Hague sent out a message asking people only to do their Christmas shopping online, and similar messages were sent out by Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and many other municipalities.
“People don't follow the rules. I still see too many people without masks and this is the consequence,” one man standing in line at a Bruna bookstore in Rijswijk told Omroep West.
“I think it’s good that everything is closing. It should have happened already,” said Bertie Beekman, who was waiting in line at a Rituals to buy Christmas gifts for her children.