Friday 10 July 2020

New rules may turn Amsterdam streets into massive cafe terrace

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Amsterdam local council may close off streets to cars in an effort to allow crisis-hit bar owners to have a terrace, provided they come up with a plan that guarantees safe passage for passers-by and other traffic, the Parool reports.

The plan is part of a set of new rules for terraces in the capital presented by mayor Femke Halsema on Tuesday ahead of the reopening of bars and restaurants on June 1.

Bar and restaurant owners will also be allowed more space in public places such as squares, bridges, boats and car parks under the new rules, which will be valid until October 31. They will also be allowed to use heaters and parasols so the terraces can be used in all weathers, the paper said.

The decision to close off a road to cars to increase seating capacity will only be taken ‘if accessibility of facilities and the general traffic flow allow’, the mayor said in a letter announcing the new measures, and ‘only if enough space remains for passers-by and other traffic streams’.

Entrepreneurs in narrow streets such as the Negen Straatjes in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam and the Utrechtsestraat, where keeping a safe distance from cyclists and pedestrians is impossible, have already submitted a plan.

All requests will be processed as a matter of urgency but owners who join forces to devise a plan will be prioritised, the paper said.

The main terrace rules include a 1.5 metre safe distance ‘from mouth to mouth’, a maximum of four people to a table and enough distance between passers-by and customers. The extended or new terraces must be licenced and will not be taxed until July 1.

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