Bars and restaurants in the city centre must close by 01:30 on Friday and Saturday evenings
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The City of Groningen’s mayor, Koen Schuiling, has brought in extra safety measures to address the spread of the Coronavirus, which is beginning to spike again in the Netherlands. On Thursday the Mayor called a press conference to announce that all city-centre shops, bars, and restaurants must close their doors and terraces by 01:30. Groningen was one of the last places in the Netherlands not to have a set closing time for its hospitality outlets.
As reported by the Dagblad van het Noorden, the new regulations have been brought in by Mayor Schuiling to combat over-crowding in the city centre. Schuiling is also the chair of the ‘Safety Region Groningen’ (Veiligheidsregio Groningen), and so would have been informed by medical and social professionals, and the police. As anyone that has recently walked through the city centre can attest, the 1.5-metre social distancing rule is almost entirely ignored in Groningen.
People that are already seated in a bar or restaurant at 01:30 may stay until the doors are closed. All terraces will have to be shut at 01:30 as well, and all establishments must be empty of customers by 02:00.
All food outlets, night shops, and kiosks must also be shut by 01:30 on Friday and Saturday nights. All customers must be asked to leave the shops by that time, confirmed Schuiling. Laughing gas may also not be sold in the city centre after 01:30.
Those that do not follow the new rules run the risk of being temporarily shut down by the city council. The new rules have no expiry date, but will be reviewed every week, says Schuiling.
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