Saturday 28 November 2020

Cafe owners lose legal bid to have coronavirus closure lifted

Bars are closed for at least four weeks. Photo:

A judge in The Hague has rejected a call by a group of café and bar owners who had gone to court in an effort to have the coronavirus closure overturned.

Ministers last Tuesday ordered all cafes, bars and restaurants to close for at least four weeks in an effort to get the growth in coronavirus cases under control.

The owners, some 68 in total, asked the court to allow cafes and bars to reopen immediately, saying that the compulsory closure is excessive and disproportionately affecting the hospitality industry.

During the hearing the government’s lawyer said ministers recognized that the measure is hurting a lot of people but said there is no alternative.

The judge will publish the motivation for the ruling in two weeks time but said the actual decision should be published now, given the urgency of the situation.

Catering sector organisation Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) has said its businesses are being unfairly singled out despite being responsible for only 1.8% of infections.

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