Carnaval may go ahead but in adapted form, minister expects

Photo: Jjoosst via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Jjoosst via Wikimedia Commons

A decision about what form this year’s Carnaval festivities can take won’t be made  until around the 15th of February, just a week before the start of the festivities, the justice minister and local mayors have said.

They hope that this will give local councils time to come up with ways to make Carnaval, which was cancelled both in 2020 and 2021, as safe as possible.

‘Carnaval can probably go ahead but will unfortunately have to be adapted to the situation,’ justice minister Dilan Yeşilgöz told RTL Nieuws. This is ‘unless the virus has completely disappeared by then but that will probably not be the case. It is too early to say.’

In particular, the mayors say the 1.5 metre social distance rule would be impossible to police, particularly now that bars can stay open until 10pm.

‘We want to see the same rules for the whole country, that will be the easiest to justify,’ said Nijmgene mayor Hubert Bruls, who is also chairman of the regional safety board association.

Bruls emphasised that most of the regular Carnaval festivities, such as the big parades and parties have been cancelled already. ‘That leaves the discussion about the bars,’ he said.

Carnaval takes place the early spring, on the weekend before the six weeks of Lent, and is perhaps the most important event on the calendar for the southern provinces. The three days of partying, from February 27 to March 1 always involve parades, costumes, oompah bands and plenty of beer.

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