Children in Groningen and Friesland have been granted special permission to participate in the tradition
November 11 is St Maarten’s Day in the Netherlands, with children traditionally knocking on doors and to sing and receive sweet treats in return. Naturally, this year celebrations are being pegged back by the Coronavirus pandemic: in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht residents and their children are being asked not to go door knocking. No events can be held across the Netherlands due to current Coronavirus regulations, either.
However in Groningen and Friesland special dispensation has been given by the Veiligheidsregios (Safety Regions), reports the GIC.
The Safety Region for Groningen has said that children may door knock to pick up sweets (with a lantern), saying “after all, children only have a small share in the spread of the virus, especially outside. And if everyone sticks to the rules, there is enough room to avoid crowds.”
Children may also sing songs at the doors, but they must then keep a distance of 1.5 meters from their audience, according to the Safety Region.
The Safety Region has also suggested putting a note on the front door indicating if you would like to participate. Anyone with any symptoms is advised not to open their door, and people that belong to a vulnerable group should also avoid contact.
Possible ways to indicate that you’d like to receive children at the door include using lanterns or installing a sign saying that the children are welcome. “Mark a distance of 1.5 meters at the door, for example with sidewalk chalk. And preferably give pre-packaged treats”, says the Safety Region.
Public realm image via Wikimedia.