Cafe and club owners who persistently refuse to check customers have coronavirus passes will lead to fines and closures, Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema has told the Parool newspaper.
Halsema came under fire last week for saying the the city would not be monitoring compliance with the introduction of the CoronaCheck system from Saturday, arguing that the council did not have enough wardens to carry out the task.
But this does not mean wardens and the police will not intervene if they spot problems, and contract tracing will also show if certain cafes and clubs have a high number of cases, the mayor said on Wednesday.
‘At the moment we get warnings from third parties, then wardens will monitor if coronavirus passes are being checked. That could lead to a formal warning, followed by a fine or closure,’ she said.
Hubert Bruls, Dutch safety board chief and Nijmegen mayor, also said last week that local authorities would not be able to monitor compliance with the new regulations, a move criticised as the ‘wrong signal’ by a number of virologists and others.
Halsema said she expected that clubs, some of which plan to open in the afternoon to offset the midnight closure, will take the task seriously.
‘If they want to avoid anything, it is infections taking place,’ she said. ‘I am more concerned about cafes which people walk in and out of. But I am going to assume that they too will keep a close eye on things.
Meanwhile, the street warden union BOA ACP says 2,500 to 5,000 new wardens will be needed to check that cafes, bars and clubs are sticking to the rules when they are introduced on September 25.
Justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus has said that local authorities will be given €45m to help with the cost of private security and extra checks.
From Saturday the 1.5 metre rule is being ditched in the Netherlands and clubs and cafes can open their doors to clients from 6am to midnight, as long as they show a valid coronavirus pass and their ID.
Last weekend DutchNews.nl reported that many people from outside the EU who do not have a digital European coronavirus pass will need to have daily tests to access cafes and bars.
The Dutch CoronaCheck app only recognises vaccines that are compatible with the European Digital Coronavirus Certificate, including a handful of non-EU countries such as Norway and Turkey.
Tourists from other countries, including the UK and the US, will not be able to use their domestic Covid apps at restaurants, cafes, sports venues and theatres.
They can have a drink at a pavement cafe but will need a test certificate to use the indoor toilet.
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