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(Credit: Ryan Arnst)

Music

The Netherlands to open nightclubs as an act of Covid-19 protest

The Netherlands continues to enforce strict restrictions and, in response to the Covid pandemic, it appears as though the nightclubs are making a stand. De Nacht staat op (“the night rises”) is a new campaign that is fighting back against the restrictions, by re-opening the establishments to express their anger at the continued closures. 

Dutch news outlet NU.nl  implies that the protest will kick off from 9pm on Saturday, February 12th. A number of clubs, establishments and avenues Amsterdam’s Melkweg, Radio Radio and Shelter have agreed to take part in the protest. 

Speaking on behalf of the nightclub contingent, Josh Kimbel spoke about the necessity of freedom during this time of upheaval. “Everyone deserves the night to get to know themselves or to just be,” Kimbel said. “Who does not see this, is asleep.This is why the night rises, to wake up the government and everyone else.”

Club owner Pieter de Kroon says it’s “frustrating” that clubs should remain closed, while adults party precariously out on the streets. Axel van der Lugt claims Dutch politicians have failed to recognise the value of night entertainment during this protracted pandemic. 

This protest likely stems from the easing of restrictions across Europe and the UK. England’s policies are more lenient, advocating workers to work at their designated station, and to talk to their employers about returning to their work places. As of January 2022, it is no longer mandatory to wear face coverings, or to carry a Covid passport to establishments. 

According to government guidelines, it is up to the business, club or industry in question to organise a new schedule: “You should now talk to your workers to agree arrangements to return to the office, consulting with workers and trade unions where appropriate. You should remain responsive to workers’ needs and consult with them on any health and safety measures you have put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading”.

The report also highlights the ongoing pandemic, recognising that the virus is still prevalent in the world at large, and asks that workers remain cautious and mindful of the virus as they invite newcomers into their orbit.