Utrecht changes locks of restaurant refusing to check Covid access pass
The municipality of Utrecht changed the locks of WAKU WAKU on Vredenburg after the vegan restaurant refused to check customers' coronavirus access pass and refused to listen to the municipality's order to stay closed on Monday. A group of protesters again gathered at the restaurant on Tuesday. The police were also at the scene, RTV Utrecht reports.
According to the municipality, it had an initial conversation with the owner of WAKU WAKU on Thursday, during which the owner said they wouldn't check coronavirus access passes on principle. There was "an intimidating tone towards the enforcers present", the municipality said.
When enforcers went to the restaurant on Saturday, the first day that coroanvirus access passes were mandatory in the catering sector, they found that the restaurant was indeed not checking its customers passes. On Monday, the mayor decided that the restaurant had to close for violating the coronavirus rules.
But the restaurant ignored that order and opened. Around 75 protesters gathered outside WAKU WAKU to make sure that the restaurant wasn't forced to close. The police did not want things to escalate, so decided against clearing people out of the restaurant.
On Tuesday, the municipality therefore decided to change WAKU WAKU's locks. "The catering facility is closed because guests are not asked for a coronavirus access pass. If the entrepreneur indicates that they will do this, and makes it believable, the closure can be lifted," a spokesperson for the municipality said to RTV Utrecht.