Thursday 29 October 2020

King says sorry for breaking social distancing rules on Greek holiday

This year’s official summer photo. Photo: RVD / Wesley de Wit

King Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima have reacted publicly to a photograph circulating on internet which shows them breaking social distancing measures while on holiday in Greece.

The photo shows the royal couple, the king carrying a face mask, standing close to a restaurant owner on the island of Milos, who has a plastic bag containing wine and other goodies in his hand.

‘We did not pay close attention to that [social distancing] in the spontaneity of the moment,’ the couple said in a social media post. ‘We should have done so, because keeping to the coronavirus rules on holiday is essential in keeping the virus under control.’

RTL news tracked down the location and spoke to a worker who confirmed the couple had been in the restaurant and that the man in the photo is the owner. ‘The photo was for a private album,’ he said, adding that breaking the coronavirus rules was ‘a mistake’.

In Greece, the social distancing norm is 1.5 metres, there is a limit on the number of customers per square footage when indoors and face masks are required on public transport and in museums and other attractions.

Swimwear

The state information service RVD had earlier declined to comment on the photo, saying it is a private matter.

Last week, photos of the couple in swimwear on board their new €2m speed boat were also circulating on the internet and in the press.

The royal family has agreed with the Dutch media that they will pose for holiday pictures twice a year in return for being left alone while not on official duty.

Dutch media outlets which publish paparazzi photos of the family are banned from taking part in the official photo shoots.

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