Mayors will enforce Covid rules during nightclubs' protest opening
People who think municipalities will not enforce compliance with the coronavirus rules in the coming weekend are wrong. Municipalities have various options for enforcing the rules. "So if people assume that enforcement will not happen this weekend, that is not correct," said Hubert Bruls, chairman of the Security Council and mayor of Nijmegen.
Bruls responded to plans by the nighttime catering industry to open their doors after 10:00 p.m. this weekend. The catering sector must close at that time according to the applicable coronavirus measures. At the same time, police unions announced protest actions, including that police officers wouldn't act against nightclubs and other late-night catering establishments that are open late. "We assume that the police will take action against large-scale violations," said Bruls. "The police continue to have a special responsibility for maintaining public order."
The municipalities of Groningen and Maastricht are going into the weekend intending to enforce coronavirus rules. A spokesperson for the north said that "the starting point is enforcement" because Groningen wants to follow the law. The same sound is heard from the south, adding that the exact implementation depends on "further developments," referring to possible further relaxation of Covid-19 measures and actions by the police. Maastricht "always enforces the coronavirus measures, and if the situation changes, we will act according to the circumstances," said a municipal spokesperson. The municipality of Haarlem will also enforce, a spokesperson said.
Mayors reacted differently when the regular catering industry opened its doors as a protest action. Some turned a blind eye, while others enforced the rules. After that, it was agreed in the Security Council that there would be one line. With the Hair Salon Theater action, no mayors allowed the protest, and all issued warnings and asked theaters to close again. This will also apply to the night catering sector, even though the Cabinet may relax more measures soon.
The Security Council of the 25 mayors who chair the country's security regions believes that there are good reasons for opening society further. "Keeping it closed any longer is no longer proportional," the Council said. But the current rules will apply until the Cabinet's press conference on Tuesday.
Reporting by ANP