Nightclubs to open in defiance of Covid measures tonight
Nightclubs throughout the Netherlands will participate in “The Night Stands Up,” opening their doors in protest against current coronavirus measures. Amsterdam nightclubs that take part risk a fine of 4,500 euros. Other municipalities, such as Utrecht, Haarlem and Maastricht, have also announced they will enforce the law.
The catering industry is now allowed to be open until 10 p.m. Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz previously asked nightclubs not to participate in the protest, since the current measures are expected to be relaxed next weekend.
The demonstration was announced last week by the industry organization Nachtbelang and the Amsterdam Clubs Council (OAC). The initiators say they are tired of the fact that the government's plans to reopen society do not include the nightlife sector.
Clubs across the country announced plans to join the campaign, though several backed down when many municipalities announced hefty fines. During his weekly press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte urged nightclub owners to adhere to the rules, saying he is confident mayors will act against the entrepreneurs involved.
"I understand that it is difficult and there are tensions," Rutte said. "We are dealing with a very serious crisis in our public health. Fortunately, we see that the figures are developing favorably."
At the same time, the police have announced that they will not act during the nightlife industry protest. The police unions ACP, ANPV, Equipe and NPB have called on their members to enforce a better collective labor agreement through this stop-work action. The Dutch unions for street enforcement teams (BOAs) said it is not safe to do their work without police support. However, Security Council Chair and Nijmegen Mayor Hubert Bruls said that BOAs should simply do their job.
Reporting by ANP