Cafes and restaurants all over the Netherlands opened their doors on Saturday 15 January in protest of the continued closure of the catering sector.
While the four largest cities in the Netherlands said they will not tolerate hospitality and cultural businesses opening this weekend in defiance of coronavirus restrictions, the mayors of more smaller Dutch municipalities including Haarlem tolerated the action of catering establishments opening last Saturday as a form of peaceful protest against the coronavirus lockdown.
The protests in the catering industry on Saturday will not be the last ones, director of the Royal Hospitality Union (KHN) Dirk Beljaarts told during TV show Nieuwsuur. “There will certainly be more protests in the coming days,” Beljaarts said. The director called it heartwarming to see how many mayors and the public welcomed opening the hospitality sector. “That also shows that it is possible. That is how the streets should look like,” the KHN director said. He said if it were “life-threatening” to open cafes and restaurants, mayors would not be in favor of it either. According to Beljaarts, it is now up to the Cabinet to “not wait ten days to announce what will happen to the catering industry and cultural sector but to take this signal to heart quickly.”
The government has clearly said that due to the lockdown, all food and beverage outlets will be closed until at least Tuesday 25 January 2022. Pick up and delivery is allowed.
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