Consumers rush to do last minute shopping; Rotterdam municipality asks people to avoid center
The municipality of Rotterdam asked people to come to the center anymore. The shopping centers have become too crowded, according to the municipality. Rotterdam already took measures to reduce traffic in the center.
Het is te druk in het #Centrum van #Rotterdam. Gemeente beperkt verkeer in Karel Doormanstraat vanaf Westblaak. Er zijn #verkeersregelaars ingezet en #parkeergarages zijn vol. Kom niet meer naar de stad en vermijd drukte. #AlleenSamen #Corona— Gemeente Rotterdam (@rotterdam) December 18, 2021
Many shopping streets across the Netherlands were busier than usual on Saturday as people prepared for the announcement of a hard lockdown on Saturday evening. In total, around 56 thousand non-essential stores are at risk of closing.
The retail trade association INretail said the Cabinet must be careful not to take measures "in a blind panic" that hit shopkeepers disproportionately. The association said that the government should take an example from other European countries that used a more phased approach with different risk levels. INretail said the government should also speed up the booster campaign. "It is shameful if unnecessary measures deal entrepreneurs another huge blow," an INretail spokesperson said.
Stores are concerned with maintaining social distance, according to the trade association. Enforcement in the shopping areas is not up to the shopkeepers but enforcers such as extraordinary officers and the police.
Small businesses decided to open their doors earlier on Saturday to make maximum use of the time they are allowed to remain open.
The Dutch Retail Council (RND) pointed out that small business owners must continue to sell their products. Much of their Christmas stock is already on the way. The RND suggested that consumers still be able to enter stores by appointment and collect products ordered online.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times