Covid-19 update: wardens hand out fines in Amsterdam, fewer cases this weekend

Social distancing signs in Amsterdam. Photo: S Boztas
Photo: S Boztas

Street wardens in Amsterdam this weekend handed out 148 fines and hundreds of warnings to people who were not wearing face masks in the five areas where they are required.

‘We hope that the fines remain the exception and that people take heed of the warnings,’ a city council spokesman told the Parool on Sunday evening.

Masks made compulsory in busy parts of the capital and Rotterdam earlier this month, as an experiment to see if they change people’s behaviour in areas where social distancing is difficult.

Rotterdam too has now said it plans to start enforcing the measure, ahead of an assessment later this month.

In Beverwijk, local officials closed down four halls at the popular Bazaar market on Sunday because social distancing measures were not being observed. The market’s organisers have already made face masks compulsory and introduced various measures in an effort to better spread the flow of visitors.

And in Delfzijl in Groningen, the refugee settlement agency COA has placed some 50 asylum seekers in quarantine because of an outbreak of coronavirus in the centre where they were living. In total, 29 out of 125 people at the centre have tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, the number of reported coronavirus cases in the Netherlands fell this weekend, dropping to 457 on Sunday. This took the total number of new cases to 3,552 in the week, down 886 on the previous seven-day period.

There are currently 42 Covid-19 patients in intensive care and 131 in regular wards. The official death toll in the Netherlands is now around 6,200 although the real total is likely to be around 10,000, statisticians say.

The public health institute RIVM will give its official weekly round-up on Tuesday.

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