Big crowds in Den Bosch for Carnival party; Mayor satisfied
About 25,000 revelers gathered in Den Bosch on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the date known as the "11th of the 11th." Images on social media show that it was very busy in some places, and people gathered close to each other. Earlier in the day, the Netherlands broke the records for the most coronavirus infections in a day, and the highest average number of daily coronavirus infections in a week-long period.
A spokesperson for the municipality said that it was indeed under the impression that some places were busier than others. "We're trying to get people to move to other parts of the city," he said. "In general, we have the impression that things are going well. We are satisfied."
Mayor Jack Mikkers also said that things were going well, his spokesperson said. He pointed out the strict rules that were observed by participants. In "Oeteldonk," the Carnival name for Den Bosch, people were celebrating in the many cafes in several locations in the city center. People without both a ticket and coronavirus pass were not allowed to enter the areas around the pubs, which were cordoned off from the public. Mikkers said the only attendees were ticketholders from Den Bosch. "That would make no sense," said his spokesperson. "Without a ticket you better not come."
The spokesperson emphasized that normally between 50,000 and 60,000 people party in the Den Bosch city center on the 11th of the 11th. There were 25,000 on Thursday in a "totally controlled setting," according to the spokesperson. "We canceled all central events, opened the pubs in a controlled manner. In many other cities, you see the pubs were open without controls. People there can go their own way. Thus our approach is better."
After all, Mikkers could not close the pubs; this was the only option the mayor had to properly regulate it, according to the spokesperson.
The reactions on social media about the crowds in Den Bosch were varied. "Everything is canceled in Limburg, and then you see this," someone wrote.
"Advice to all hospitals outside Brabant: Do not admit a single corona patient from Den Bosch in the coming month. We, the rest of the Netherlands, do not want to pay for this disfigured bunch of revelers," another said. But there were also many positive voices.
"This was just well organized in Den Bosch. And also 87 percent are vaccinated, right?" And another said: "Street is closed, limited access (with pre-purchased) wristband and QR. Everything neatly within the rules, just like at football stadiums."
Reporting by ANP.