New travel advice ‘knock out blow’ to industry, other sectors resigned

Skiing holidays are off the menu Photo:

Reactions to the new, more stringent coronavirus measures announced by the government on Tuesday have been received mostly with resignation by the industries which have been hit, but street wardens warn that the two-person limit in the street will be difficult to police.

A multifunctional centre in Groningen, which opened only a year ago, and which is home to a library, cinema and museum will now have to close all three facilities. ‘The measures are incomprehensible and unfathomable,’ centre director Dirk Nijdam told broadcaster NOS. ‘Here in the north things aren’t that bad. But I do understand it’s difficult to have a separate policy for each region or city.’

The Club van Elf, an association which includes amusement park the Efteling, the Open Air Museum and Apenheul zoo, said the closure was ‘regrettable’ but that two weeks might be manageable, seeing that the biggest hit for the venues had already come during the summer.

Cinemas too will close from 10 pm on Wednesday. According to cinema chain Vue, which has cancelled all screenings, no corona cases can be traced back to any of its cinemas and social distancing can be maintained very easily.

The closure of social clubs and community centres could lead to people feeling increasingly isolated, said Mieke Kuipers deputy director of the De Mussen centre in the Schilderwijk district of The Hague, where corona cases have been rising.

‘People around here are often out of work, live in small homes and have large families.(..) Closing the centre down completely could isolate them,’ she said.


The government’s urgent request not to travel until mid January is ‘knock out blow’ to the travel industry, travel agents umbrella organisation ANVR said. ‘There is no problem with the hotels or travel, we have a problem with behaviour and policing. But we’ll have to deal with it,’ spokesman Frank Oostdam said.

Street warden union Nederlandse BOA Bond said the new measure of only going out in pairs would be very difficult to police.

‘I’m expecting big problems. If you go out as a couple and you meet a friend in the street you can’t stop and have a chat. I think people will find this unreasonable and it will cause aggression,’ spokesman Ruud Kuin said.

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