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Dutch clubs can reopen on 12th February without punishment, police unions announce

Venues participating in this weekend's nightlife protest will not be subject to legal action

Dutch clubs

Dutch clubs can reopen on 12th February without punishment, police unions in the Netherlands have announced. 

A joint statement released 8th February by law enforcement organisations ACP, ANVP, and NPB, clarified that officers would be more concerned with "tasks such as emergency aid and services to citizens" rather than taking action against venues involved in this weekend's De Nacht Staat Op (The Night Stands Up), organised by the OAC (Council of Amsterdam Clubs) and Nachtbelang. 

Scores of clubs across the country have signed up to open without authorisation on Saturday to protest against ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, police unions have made their decision in the wake of unsuccessful negotiations with government over pay, staffing, safety and training, catalysed by a protest in December against what officers and support workers see as unfairly high workloads and low resourcing. 

"Unfortunately, the message of these actions did not get across clearly enough," a spokesperson for the organisations said. 

Venues in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Utrecht are all involved in the push back, expressing anger over what they see as one economic sector being unfairly targeted in the government's response to the pandemic.

At the time of writing, the government is set to reassess when clubs can reopen on Wednesday 15th February. Currently, restrictions are set to remain in place until 8th March. However, reports from the Netherlands this week have suggested some changes could take place sooner, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte indicating his cabinet was "cautiously optimistic" that the 10PM curfew, social distancing, and several other rules could be eased, or scrapped, by 25th February.

Last summer, more than 70,000 people in the Netherlands took part in 'Unmute Us' protests against the government's Covid-19 festival ban. More recently, cities such as Rotterdam have been rocked by violent dissent in response to coronavirus measures.