Netherlands could adopt Berlin’s nightclub plan to let clubs open overnight
The cabinet is open to the possibility of adopting Berlin's coronavirus access policy for nightclubs. In the city, only people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or who have recovered from an infection are allowed to enter the club. The cabinet also wants to consider something similar in the Netherlands, but first wants to discuss it with the lower house of parliament.
The Berlin policy is also known as the 2G policy. That is a reference to the fact that people must be demonstrably 'geimpft' (vaccinated) or 'genesen' (recovered). The idea is that the club-goers themselves run less risk of becoming seriously ill if they do come into contact with the virus. In other places, a 3G policy is in place. Then it it also sufficient to be 'getestet' (tested). This means that the club goer is not necessarily safe from the virus, but is probably not carrying the virus.
The Dutch coronavirus access pass can now be compared with the 3G policy. People who have been tested, vaccinated or recovered will be allowed to return to nightclubs from 25 September, among other things. A 2G policy would be stricter, but perhaps more effective. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) recommended that the cabinet consider this, and the cabinet has no objection to that. The law will have to be changed for that.
"The OMT realizes that the choices for such an access policy is a complex consideration in which many other social considerations also play a role," the advisers wrote in a letter. Nevertheless, at least the D66 seems to be interested in the idea. On Monday, MPs Jan Paternotte and Romke de Jong published an opinion piece in NRC in which they argued that clubs should be given the choice to open faster by introducing the stricter access check.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema expressed concerns that the current policy for nightclubs - allowed to open with the access pass and a mandatory closing time of midnight - will demotivate young people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
"Young people in particular, whose vaccination rate is low, should be tempted in all sorts of ways to get the shot. Continued closure of clubs and night businesses may reduce motivation," Halsema said via a spokesperson.
She also said that she worries the measure could affect the credibility of the coronavirus proof, which is needed from 25 September to gain access to the catering industry, among other things. "Why should the system of only letting in vaccinated or tested people work at 11:30 p.m but not at 12:30 a.m.?"
The Amsterdam mayor asked the cabinet to reconsider the measure. "The desire of young people to finally start their social life again must be taken seriously. Moreover, the night catering industry has been paying a very high price for the coronavirus crisis for a long time."
Reporting by ANP.