Event organisers can begin preparing for concerts, festivals, sports matches and congresses from July 1, the caretaker cabinet said on Friday.
Should the events have to be cancelled because of coronavirus measures, then the government will pay 80% of the costs as a gift and the rest as a loan, junior economic affairs minister Mona Keijzer told news website Nu.nl.
The regulation will cover events organised between July and the end of December, but will not apply to new events which are to be held for the first time. Nor will it apply to events which have not taken out cancellation insurance in the past.
‘Our events sector sets the international standard and we want to keep it that way,’ Keijzer said. ‘Organisers and public are longing for a concert, a festival, a football match.’
Health minister Hugo de Jonge said earlier this month that all adults in the Netherlands should have had at least once vaccination by July, if deliveries proceed according to plan.
Ministers said in January that the government was setting up a €300m guarantee fund for events, so that organisers can start preparing summer festivals and sports events without fearing they will be left to pick up the bill if coronavirus leads to cancellations. According to Nu.nl, the fund will actually be €385m.
The events sector had urged the government to set up a fund, saying insurance companies which normally cover events against cancellation have excluded coronavirus from their policies.
Earlier this week, regional safety board chiefs also called for a June or July deadline. That may be a long way off but if vaccinations are well under way by then, then society can start opening up, board chairman Hubert Bruls said. ‘You cannot continue to ban everything, People need perspective.’
The government is due to announce if the coronavirus rules can be relaxed at a press conference on Tuesday.
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