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Dutch government bans all events over 100 people

To halt the spread of the coronavirus, live music has effectively been outlawed in the Netherlands until the end of the month at the earliest

By Jon Chapple on 12 Mar 2020

Covid-19 coronavirus

image © Felipe Esquivel Reed

All gatherings of more than 100 people are banned in the Netherlands until at least 31 March, under new plans drawn up to combat the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The new measures, announced this afternoon (12 March) by Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and health minister Bruno Bruins, means the Netherlands – which had 614 cases of the virus at the time of writing – now has some of the most stringent temporary anti-events legislation in Europe. (Among the major touring markets, only Austria is similarly prohibiting gatherings of over 100 attendees.)

The restrictions, which are based on the recommendations of the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health), order the cancellation of all gatherings with more than 100 people, including at music venues, theatres, museums and sports venues.

Dutch authorities have also ordered everyone in the country to stay home wherever possible and refrain from travelling abroad.

The ban supersedes similar restrictions in North Brabant

The ban follows and supersedes similar restrictions in the province of North Brabant, which outlawed all events of over 1,000 people on Tuesday 10 March.

In a statement, the Association of Event Producers (VVEM) says it is “keeping a close eye on developments” and directs promoters towards its coronavirus database for more information.

VNPF, the Association of Dutch Music Venues and Festivals, meanwhile, is a part of small-business association MKB-Nederland, which is in contact with authorities about “a package of extra measures in order to be able to maintain the liquidity of [its members] if the situation requires it.”

For an up-to-date list of coronavirus-related restrictions in other European markets, click here:

Coronavirus in Europe: The state of play [updating]


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