Dutch police give green light to reopen nightclubs on February 12
Currently scheduled to dissolve on March 8, the Netherlands’ COVID-19 restrictions have proven to be a major point of contention among the country’s unyielding number of nightlife advocates. In recent developments, Dutch law enforcement has opted to allow any and all demonstrative club re-openings come on Saturday, February 12.
Organized by the Council of Amsterdam Clubs and nightlife syndicate Nachtbelang, February 12 marks the official date of De Nacht Staat Op, or “The Night Stands Up.” The aforementioned protest against the Netherlands’ nightlife restrictions has garnered interest from a myriad of Dutch nightclubs; Amsterdam’s Radio Radio, Shelter and Melkweg, Ekko in Utrecht, and dozens of other venues have agreed to break the nation’s health and safety guidelines by opening their doors on February 12 at 9:00 p.m. local time.
In the wake of a December protest against inequitable resourcing and workloads, Dutch police unions reached an agreement to turn a blind eye to these premature re-openings. Law enforcement agencies ACP, ANVP, and NPB recently issued a joint statement indicating that police officers would prioritize “tasks such as emergency aid and services to citizens” rather than centralizing their efforts on preempting unlawful club activity.
Evidently, the massive pushback has already impacted the Netherlands’ regulatory timeline. On Wednesday, February 15, the Dutch government will convene to reevaluate the date allowing clubs to legally reopen. While the lift date remains March 8, Prime Minister Mark Rutte noted that his cabinet is “fairly optimistic” that the Netherlands’ 10PM curfew, social distancing, and other restrictions may be completely revoked by February 25.
Featured image: Jaap Beyleveld