Utrecht cancels Sinterklaas arrival; Extra Covid rules in Limburg
The Sinterklaas arrival party in Utrecht is canceled due to the coronavirus, the municipality of Utrecht announced on Wednesday. The party would have been Sunday. The mayors of the 15 municipalities in Noord- and Midden-Limburg also imposed further restrictions on parties around Carnival on Tuesday, banning many parties around the kick-off to the season.
The organizer of the Sinterklaas arrival party in Utrecht informed the municipality that it no longer wishes to take on the arrival "due to current developments around the coronavirus," the municipality said in a letter. The city said it shares concerns about the increasing infections.
Utrecht "regrets and respects" the organizer's decision. Due to the short time until Sunday, there is no option to provide an alternative. The central arrival of the saint would already have been in an adapted form, without a public reception and a tour through the city.
The municipality of Utrecht called the cancellation a "disappointment for many children, their parents, and the volunteers involved who again this year do not get the chance to receive Sinterklaas during a central entry into our city. A huge disappointment."
According to the municipality, the Sinterklaas arrival parties in various Utrecht neighborhoods on November 13 and 20 have different organizers and will continue.
The mayors in Noord- and Midden-Limburg imposed further restrictions for parties in tents and on squares. These kinds of festivities, which are mainly organized around the kick-off of Carnival season, are for the most part banned. The ban will last until Monday, November 15, the Limburg Noord Security Region announced on Tuesday evening.
In this way, the region wants to do more against the ever-increasing number of coronavirus infections. Earlier, the mayors in this region already decided to ban all large-scale Carnival events such as the 11th of the 11th in Roermond.
The ban now also includes musical parties in tents or on squares where visitors have no fixed seating. Sinterklaas arrival parties may continue with the applicable rules regarding the coronavirus measures and after coordination with the municipalities. The same applies to Sint Maarten celebrations.
The mayors made an urgent appeal to residents and entrepreneurs "to take responsibility to reduce the number of infections together and thus protect each other. Ultimately, this also relieves the pressure on healthcare."
"Stick to the measures in force and above all use your common sense. If you are in the catering industry or village hall, follow the basic advice such as keeping 1.5 meters apart. This reduces the chance of coronavirus transmission, and you protect yourself and others. Have yourself tested in case of symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated, and stay at home."
Reporting by ANP