Several Netherlands nightclubs will reopen for tonight in protest of COVID restrictions.
The Dutch nightlife industry has suffered after being shut down for nearly two years due to COVID, with a brief reopening during the summer of 2021. Now, with many European countries lifting their restrictions, tensions between Netherlands ’ nightclub owners and the government have risen. The government maintains its position that it is too early to reopen nightclubs, but faces increasing pressure from businesses to lift remaining measures.
Current restrictions will remain in place until March 8. However, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at his last press conference that his cabinet would reevaluate the measures in mid-February. Next week, representatives from the nightlife industry will meet with the Ministry of Economic Affairs to discuss the possibility of officially reopening nightclubs before March 8.
Expect businesses to apply more pressure on the Dutch government. Many Dutch establishments are hoping for the government to ease its anti-COVID measures. Given that Rutte’s government has lifted most other restrictions since the Omicron surge began, it is likely only a matter of time before Dutch industry and businesses force the full reopening of the economy.
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Margaux is an Analyst and regular contributor to The Daily Brief, specializing in geopolitical and security issues in the Middle East.