Concerts, festivals can start from June 5 as Netherlands moves ahead with lockdown easing
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge also said that many adults will have to wait until mid-July to get their first Covid-19 vaccine shot. The Netherlands is also considering if it should start vaccinating children between 12 and 15.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Friday evening that the government will press ahead with the easing of a large number of coronavirus restrictions on June 5. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge also said that concerts, festivals, and many events will also be allowed to welcome ticketed attendees if they use coronavirus test results to regulate entrance. He also confirmed that many more restrictions will be released on June 30 if the situation continues to improve.
"If you buy a ticket for a test-accessible event, you can make an appointment for a test," said De Jonge. "After that, you create an admission ticket with the Coronamelder app."
Many organizations will also be allowed to use coronavirus access tests in order to admit a greater number of people. Theaters and restaurants that do not use access testing can host a maximum of fifty people. "If they do use access tests, they may receive as many guests as can fit in their room or business while everyone is seated 1.5 meters apart," the Cabinet wrote in a statement.
In many cases, those who are fully vaccinated can bypass the testing requirement. The Netherlands considers a person to be fully vaccinated if they have received two shots of the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca, or one shot if they tested positive for the coronavirus infection a few months before receiving their jab. Those who were given the Janssen one-shot vaccine are also considered fully vaccinated.
The third step of lockdown easing will also relax many conventional coronavirus restrictions. "The summer is not completely normal yet, but a lot more normal than before. All figures are going in the right direction," Rutte said.
Third step on June 5 relaxes many restrictions
It includes allowing hospitality businesses to allow a maximum of 50 guests inside or on a terrace, at a fixed place, but not along a bar. The businesses will be allowed to open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., and dinner must be served in no more than two fixed seatings. Self service is not allowed, and there will be a maximum of four people from mixed households per table, excluding children up to the age of 12. There is no stated limit for people from the same home.
Entertainment, like live performances and sports on big screens is not allowed. "Unfortunately, we really have to ban video screens at cafes during the European Championship. People also have to be careful at home. We have seen that if too many people come together, it will lead to more infections," Rutte stated.
Alcohol sales in shops and cannabis sales in coffeeshops will be permitted until 10 p.m., two hours later than current rules permit. After-hours shops will also be allowed to stay open, provided they limit their customers to one per 10 square meters of space.
Museums and cultural sites can open their doors back up. So too can movie theaters, music venues and theaters for a maximum of fifty people. Large venues that seat over a thousand people can host a maximum of 250 seated 1.5 meters apart.
Art and cultural studios and practice halls can also open their doors to up to 50 people, with some limitations depending on activities. Indoor venues, including those at zoos and nature centers, can also open from June 5.
Saunas, casinos, wellness centers and tanning salons will also be allowed to open their doors with reservations and registration at the door. They will be limited to a maximum of four people per reservation, and up to 50 people per space, with face masks required in many spaces. Likewise, changing rooms and showers at indoor sports facilities, and all sports canteens, will also be able to open back up.
Adults can work out in groups of up to 50 people, and the 1.5-meter distance will no longer be a requirement if it is a necessary aspect of the sport, such as boxing or volleyball. Adults 18 and up still may not take part in a competitive match, but people aged 17 and under will also be allowed to do so.
Group sizes inside and outside of the home are generally limited to four people from different households, not including children aged 12 and under.