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Dutch venues back in June as Benelux advances reopening

The Netherlands embarks on reopening on Monday, with Belgium and Luxembourg also advancing next week, as the return of live music draws closer

By IQ on 07 May 2020

Dutch venues back from June as Benelux advances reopening

Friendly Fire’s Best Kept Secret festival is among Dutch events to move to 2021

image © Jokko Photography/Best Kept Secret

The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are embarking on significant phases of their respective reopening plans, with some form of live music events potentially returning to the countries from June.

The Dutch government yesterday (6 May) presented its recovery roadmap which will see the country emerge from coronavirus lockdown measures “as quickly as possible, but no faster than responsible,” according to prime minister Mark Rutte.

The five-stage plan, which begins on Monday 11 May, allows cultural institutions “such as concert venues and theatres” to reopen from 1 June, contradicting previous information from the government that stated it planned to include all concerts and club nights in its all-summer event ban.

With a list of conditions that will leave most venue operators scratching their heads, venues can reopen on the basis that a maximum of 30 people – including staff – are allowed in at any one time and they remain 1.5 metres apart. A reservation system must also be in place, with no walk-in customers admitted. Venue owners must discuss potential risks with visitors before they enter.

The maximum number of visitors to cultural institutions will be increased to 100 in the following stage of the plan from 1 July, if the virus is kept “under control”.

“The only certainty is that mass events such as festivals are not allowed before 31 August”

The Dutch government states that a decision regarding mass spectator events “such as festivals and major concerts” will be taken before 1 September, when the current ban on large public gatherings is set to expire.

In neighbouring Belgium, where large-scale events are banned until 31 August, a three-stage lockdown lifting plan began this week, with the country preparing to move into the second part of its first phase, 1B, on Monday.

The third phase of the plan, which will come into force on 8 June “at the earliest”, includes the reopening of “smaller open-air events”. The third stage will also potentially see the gradual reopening of “restaurants, cafes, bars and the like”.

“The only certainty is that mass events such as festivals are not allowed before 31 August,” reads the government document.

Luxembourg embarks on the second phase of its exit plan on 11 May, when shops and some cultural venues will be allowed to open under social-distancing measures. It remains unclear when nightclubs, bars and other nighttime venues will be allowed to resume business.

A ban on events of over 100 people is in force in Luxembourg until 31 July.


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