Nightclubs baffled by gov’t order to stay closed

Nightclubs in the Netherlands can’t understand why they are still not allowed to open. “A mockery of a press conference,” Jorn Lukszcyzk of Nachtbelang, the interest group for the club sector, said to NOS after Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge’s coronavirus press conference on Tuesday. “It is scandalous for entrepreneurs and young people.”

According to Lukaszcyzk, the government is being very lighthearted about the consequences their decisions have for the club sector and the young people who enjoy it. Monday was the first time the interest group managed to get a meeting with the government about the sector’s wish to reopen, he said. He had expected bad news and was not surprised by the government’s decision, Lukaszcyzk said. But he is still disappointed.

Nachtbelang sent a protocol to the Outbreak Management Team with which the group believes nightclubs can open safely, even with the coronavirus still around. Measures nightclubs want to take include setting a maximum age for entry, so that people from risk groups don’t end up getting sick in a club, and keeping good record of those who visited to make eventual source and contact tracing easier. The nightclubs agree that keeping 1.5 meters apart won’t be possible, but believe proper ventilation will keep the risk of infection to a minimum.