Major festivals not on the calendar until Covid-19 vaccine is ready

Major events are cancelled until further notice. Photo:

Mass events with ‘national’ appeal will not be permitted in the Netherlands again until there is a vaccine against Covid-19, health minister Hugo de Jonge has told MPs in his latest briefing on the government’s strategy to combat coronavirus.

‘We cannot give a date for the last step, the mass events with national appeal,’ De Jonge said in the briefing. ‘That can only happen when there is a vaccine, and no-one knows how long that will take. We hope it will be quick, but a year or more is a real possibility.’

In the list of measures presented by the government on Wednesday, it states that a decision on mass events will be taken before September 1 – the current date for the ban to expire.

Professional football matches will be able to resume from September 1, but without fans, De Jonge said in his briefing.

The Dutch football association told broadcaster NOS in a reaction that the news was an ‘unpleasant surprise’.

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