Drenthe shops closed again after warning
Dozens of stores that opened in Klazienaveen in Drenthe on Tuesday morning, in protest against the government's coronavirus measures, closed again an hour later after getting an official warning. The municipality gave them 15 minutes to close up or they'd be fined, chairman Harrie van der Velde of the local shopkeepers' association said to NOS.
According to Van der Velde, he got a visit from a municipal employee on Tuesday morning. "He informed me as chairman that we have formally been warned for opening. I immediately said in the message group to close as soon as possible to avoid a fine of 4 thousand euros."
Most of the around 70 participating stores responded immediately, he said to the broadcaster. "Some last customers were served and then everything was closed down again." Van der Velde is disappointed that the protest ended this way, "but we were able to make our point."
"We understand that the mayor had no choice. He could have given us only five minutes. Now we were able to be open for at least an hour and quarter," Van der Velde said.
The municipality of Emmen, which covers Klazienaveen, warned shopkeepers that it will enforce the coronavirus rules, which has non-essential stores closed to physical shoppers. The relaxations announced last week mean that they can open for shopping-by-appointment from Wednesday, but they'll only be allowed two customers per floor in each time slot of at least 10 minutes.
Emmen mayor Eric van Oosterhout said that he had no choice but to order the shops closed. "I cannot allow the shopkeepers in Klazienaveen more than entrepreneurs in other places. If they violate the national corona rules, then I have to intervene," he said, according to NOS. "The entrepreneurs were approached by us and all closed their doors around ten o'clock. I do not approve the action, but I do understand the message they want to convey with it."