With today’s lockdown easing, the Netherlands moves one step closer to fully reopening
The third step of the government’s six-step plan to end the coronavirus lockdown came into effect with dozens of changes on June 5, a few days earlier than planned. Starting on Saturday, the majority of indoor locations in the Netherlands will be able to welcome customers and visitors again, like bars, restaurants and museums.
Thanks to sinking coronavirus infection rates, a declining number of Covid-19 hospital admissions and rising vaccination figures, the Netherlands was able to move ahead with its plan.
Catering establishments are especially enthusiastic about welcoming guests, after many months of financial, personal, and professional difficulties.
"It is very relieving of course. They were horrible times. We were not able to do our job like we used to. We were used to always being busy”, Job from the Koffieschenkerij, a café in the heart of Amsterdam said to the NL Times.
The new allowance of 50 people per indoor space is a breath of fresh air to the culture and the hospitality sector. The businesses are allowed to extend their opening times to between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Fixed seating does remain mandatory, yet as long as a 1.5-meter distance can be guaranteed, gastro businesses can welcome up to 50 guests inside or on a terrace. Alcoholic beverages can also flow again until 10 p.m.
Entertainment, such as large T.V. screens will continue to be prohibited out of concern it could attract large crowds.
In the culture sector, it is permitted again for people of all ages to work together in arts and culture, including at studios and rehearsal halls. The limit of 50 visitors per room or hall remains, with the exception that large venues with over a thousand fixed seats can grant entrance to up to 250 visitors.
More has also become possible in sports. Friendly matches amongst players of the same club are allowed again, although players still have to wait for official matches. Gyms and sports clubs can also reopen their changing rooms, showers and saunas.
Last but not least, residents can welcome up to four visitors above the age of 12 per day again. Children under 12 do not count towards the total amount.
Face masks remain obligatory in indoor public places. Other basic rules, such as regular hand washing and Covid-19 testing in case of symptoms continue to apply. The government also reiterates their advice to work from home whenever possible.