First Sinterklaas arrival party canceled over risking Covid infections
The coronavirus pandemic has dealt its first blow to this year's Sinterklaas season. Due to increasing infections and new restrictions, the Sinterklaas committee in Zoeterwoude decided to cancel its arrival party in the Klaverhal this Saturday, Omroep West reported.
"It is impossible for us to safely let 400 children into the Klaverhal with the coronavirus measures in effect," Martie Paats, chairman of the Sinterklaas committee in Zoeterwoude-Dorp, said to the broadcaster. "If we have to check all people who want to enter the Klaverhal on a CoronaCheck app, that will take hours. And having people keep 1.5 meters apart is also untenable because the children will mingle."
"We had organized a very nice program for Saturday. A dance performance was planned, the mayor would have been present, and we had organized a coloring contest with great prizes," Paats said. The committee tried to organize an alternative arrival party in the open air. "An arrival outside would, of course, be wonderful, but we should have started earlier. If you want to organize something like this outside, you have to apply for permits from the municipality more than six weeks in advance. That cannot be organized in one week."
The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands is skyrocketing, with an average of 10,492 people testing positive for the virus per day this past week. On Saturday, the Cabinet tightened the coronavirus restrictions to stem the spread of the virus. On Monday, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge warned that the government might have to implement even more restrictions as early as Friday. He also said that he could not rule out lockdown-like measures.