In an attempt to keep people away, flower growers are removing the bulbs from stems as a last-resort measure in order to stop people from flocking to the flower fields and thus limit the spread of coronavirus.
Warm weather rising above the 20s last week meant the whole country seemingly stepped outside, despite the restrictions in place. Large crowds gathered in Bollenstreek, a region in the west of the Netherlands that is notorious for its flower bulbs.
Warnings to stay away, barriers placed on the perimeters and closed roads did not deter eager spectators.
Gisteren was het veel te druk in de Bollenstreek, ondanks het verzoek om niet te komen. De Bollenstreek zal daarom de Paasdagen gedeeltelijk toegankelijk zijn. Wegen tussen bollenvelden zijn ❌ afgesloten. Dit geldt niet voor bewoners. Doorgaande wegen zijn niet afgesloten. pic.twitter.com/ur8fsNFMS3
— Carla Breuer (@CarlaBreuer) April 12, 2020
Flower heads cut to prevent spread of coronavirus
So, as a last resort, or as the Dutch say, a “horse remedy,” the flower heads are to cut, removing those vibrant colours from the fields, according to omroepwest.nl.
“The last thing you want is a mini coronavirus outbreak,” says grower Simon Pennings from Noordwijkerhout.
Risk of financial damage
Pennings explains that flowers need to be thoroughly inspected before growers can cut the heads, as a certificate ensuring that the flowers are healthy and in good condition is necessary. However, because the flowers were de-headed sooner, the inspection was not carried out and can therefore not be exported to as many countries.
Health is the priority
Despite the financial risk, Pennings did not hesitate much. “Health is the most important thing now,” he says. “It may cost us money, but you don’t want the Bulb region to be in the news the way it was over the past few days.”
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Feat image: Pixabay