Football stadiums, theaters to open in protest against lockdown
More sectors are preparing protests against the current lockdown. Theaters plan to redub themselves as hair salons to show that they can open safely like contact professions. And football clubs are preparing to open their stadiums for spectators again.
The football clubs from the Eredivisie and Keuken Kampioen Divisie issued a statement shortly before the Cabinet's press conference on Friday. "We can no longer play without an audience," they said. They announced that they would open their stadiums "demonstratively" if the Cabinet sticks to the ban on spectators in the next press conference on January 25. Various teams from the Keuken Kampioen Divisie are talking about doing so this week with the mayors of the cities they're in.
There are no Eredivisie matches in the weekend after the next press conference due to World Cup qualifiers in South America and Asia. But there are six matches scheduled in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie. The home clubs are all preparing to receive spectators.
"The intention is to play against FC Dordrecht with an audience," said a spokesperson for VVV-Venlo. The TOP Oss club management will meet with the mayor, police, and prosecutor about the home match against FC Den Bosch on January 28. "We really want to play with spectators and sponsors in a full Kuipje again," said a spokesperson, referring to the nickname of the Frans Heesen stadium in Oss.
ADO Den Haag will receive De Graafschap on January 30. "Talks with the municipality of The Hague are already underway," said a spokesperson. "We want to play with spectators again because football has shown that this can be done safely. We still assume that it will be allowed again by then. But if the Cabinet sticks to the ban on spectators, we want to open the doors demonstratively. Compare it with the catering industry and shops in Valkenburg last week. However, we do need permission and cooperation from the municipality for this. All clubs are trying to arrange this locally."
FC Eindhoven, Excelsior, and Almere FC are also preparing to receive spectators in the home matches against MVV, FC Emmen, and Telstar.
Dozens of theaters in the Netherlands will be converted into hair salons, massage studios, or beauty salons on Wednesday. Visitors can get a haircut while watching comedians perform. According to the culture sector, theaters have proven that they can open safely because visitors can keep their distance, wear masks, and be let in with a QR code.
The Concertgebouw and the Concertgebouw Orchestra were the latest to announce that they'll be joining the Hair Salon Theater action to express their dissatisfaction with the Cabinet's coronavirus policy. Director Simon Reinink of the Concertgebouw announced this on KRO NCRV program De Morgen van 4 on Tuesday.
Reinink and the orchestra, like other artists and theaters, want to draw attention to the unequal treatment of the cultural sector in the corona policy. "We advocate a fair perspective together with all cultural institutions that participate," said the director. "Because time and again in recent years we have had to conclude that if sectors could open, we were at the back of the queue. While in our opinion there is little reason for this. Because we have always shown that it is safe in our sector's halls and museums."
Reporting by ANP and NL Times