Events sector will open on March 11; with or without gov't approval
The event industry wants to open on March 11 without restrictions. "Since the government does not come up with a concrete perspective, the industry itself is now putting the dot on the (near) horizon," the Alliance of Event Builders said on Wednesday. The industry wants the government to take the first steps and weigh in next Tuesday, February 15, so that the entire sector can open at full capacity on March 11.
"This just has to happen and will happen," said Ruben Brouwer, director of event organizer MOJO and part of the Alliance. Brouwer said that if the government does not agree to the plan, actions like large demonstrations and parades will follow. "Last year, we saw a lot of people flocking to Unmute Us," an event sector protest that attracted tens of thousands of protesters nationwide.
With this demand, the Alliance, which represents all kinds of organizations in the sector in discussions with the government, wants to send a clear signal. Because, according to them, the event industry has "been in talks with the government for two years," and the sector "has cooperated in scientific research." But "despite that, such restrictions have been imposed on the industry that large-scale events are not possible." Events can currently only have up to 1,250 visitors, with a fixed seat. As a result, many events have been canceled or postponed.
The first events were canceled at the beginning of March 2020, including the large part of the Holland Zingt Hazes concert series. That is why the sector now wants to open on March 11, the day on which Holland Zingt Hazes is scheduled again at the Ziggo Dome.
On Tuesday, Minister Ernst Kuipers of Public Health told parliament that the Cabinet is shifting its focus in the coronavirus policy to "keeping society open." Sources around the Cabinet also told Nieuwsuur that the government plans to relax more restrictions next week, including allowing fuller football stadiums and theaters and letting nightclubs reopen. The events sector wasn't explicitly mentioned.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.