After two years of restrictions, this year’s King’s Day celebrations promise to be a ‘return to normal’, with the railways, festival organisers, cafes and bars, and bargain hunters all gearing up for a successful celebration.
Dutch railway company NS has brought in hundreds of extra workers and cleaners to make sure train services remain up to scratch and more services will run to Amsterdam and other popular cities.
The NS expects 200,000 people will head to Amsterdam for the day, a spokesman told the news website Nu.nl.
For the past two years, selling on King’s Day has been banned, as was live music – both in the capital and nationwide.
‘People now want to enjoy themselves again and our members can’t wait to welcome them on Koningsnacht (Tuesday evening) and on the day itself,’ a spokesman for hospitality industry KHN said.
Café and bar King’s Day turnover is also a good financial buffer for many owners who have been closed for much of the past two years. ‘In that respect, King’s Day is very important for the sector,’ he said.
One drink only
Amsterdam city council, however, says it wants to make sure people do not drink too much. That is why ‘people in the city centre may not have more than one alcoholic drink with them’, the council says on its website.
‘A barrel or a six pack counts as more than one. Shops will sell one bottle or can per person,’ the website states. It did not say what action officials will take to curb excess drinking.
Police in the capital have also warned that they will take a tough line on drunkenness in boats. Skippers who have been drinking face a fine of up to €1,000.
The weather is also set to be good for sales, with no rain and plenty of sunny spells, and the temperature ranging from 11 Celsius on the Wadden Islands to 17 Celsius in the south.
For new arrivals to Amsterdam, the Parool has drawn up five routes to take to make the most of the King’s Day celebrations.
The royal family themselves will spend the day in Maastricht.
Last year, at least 483 people picked up coronavirus during the King’s Day festivities in Amsterdam although the true figure was likely to be higher because not everyone who is a potential carrier had a test, the local health board said.
The virus was spread across at least 17 clusters and four in five of the infections were picked up indoors. In addition, 60% of the people who were infected had been in a large group in the city centre or a park at some point during the day.
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