Dutch restaurants defy Covid-19 rules — Action News Now

Some restaurants in the Netherlands have reopened despite current Covid-19 restrictions as they refuse to wait for the Dutch Prime Minister to announce later on Friday whether to ease the month-long lockdown.

In defiance of draconian Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the government in mid-December, restaurants in the Dutch city of Valkenburg reopened on Friday with the support of the local mayor.

Dirk Beljaarts, chief executive of KHN, an organization representing the hospitality industry, said it was less a question of rebellion than a question of survival after a tough 22 months for businesses due to the pandemic.

Agencies in 15 other cities said they would follow suit and open on Saturday, regardless of the government’s announcement on Friday night.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte will speak later on Friday. Restaurants and bars will be excluded from initial plans to reopen the economy, according to state broadcaster NOS.

Most shops, hairdressers and gyms will be allowed to reopen, NOS reported.

government plan “We obviously cannot accept it because there is no sound argument,” Respond to speculation, Beljaarts said. He urged the state to take a more lenient approach, similar to that used in the UK, where case numbers have fallen over the past week.

Infection rates in the Netherlands continue to rise despite restrictions. On Friday, the country set a national record of more than 35,000 cases in a single day.

A poll by Hart van Nederland shows that a majority of Dutch people are in favour of allowing restaurants to reopen.

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