Early closure is the same as lockdown, cinemas and theaters say
Cinemas and theaters called on the Cabinet to ensure they could stay open longer with the upcoming relaxation of the Covid measures. A closing time of 8 p.m. would "actually be the same as a lockdown," chair of the Dutch Cinema Association and the Association of Free Theater Producers Boris van der Ham said.
In response to the new OMT advice leaked on Saturday, which revealed that all sectors can stay open again until 8 p.m., the cinema and theater sectors called on the Cabinet to use closing times. "At least until 10 or 11 p.m.," Van der Ham said. "Make sure that there is room for that large part of the cultural sector to be truly open. Otherwise, you still have a lockdown." Theaters and cinemas have the most turnover in the evening, Van der Ham aid.
CEO of festival organizer group ID&T said it is unacceptable if the event industry does not fully reopen in the short term. "Our industry has been completely closed for two years now and there is no prospect," Van Straalen said. "The future of the events industry is in grave danger and a soon 100 percent reopening is the only way to keep the industry alive."
A KHN spokesperson said that the Royal Hospitality Union (KHN) was pleased with the 8 p.m. closing time, but acknowledged that the new restrictions are not beneficial for all. "The advice of the OMT is a good step in the right direction but a step with mixed emotions. For entrepreneurs who still have to keep their stores close, for example, nightclubs, they are still without perspective."
The Cabinet will consider the OMT advice on Monday. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Ernst Kuipers will hold a press conference to present the updated coronavirus policy.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times