In the glorious weather on King’s Day, crowds gathered in parks and outdoor spaces across the Netherlands. Fights broke out in Amsterdam, Breda, and Deventer leading to arrests and police being injured. Cafés, bars, and restaurants were also told to close by police.
Another day before terraces are due to open, Dutchies took to the streets to celebrate Koningsdag. In a number of Dutch cities, the police were called in to enforce coronavirus measures. But the police were not always met with a warm welcome.
Crowds in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark
By the early afternoon, the municipality of Amsterdam had to close Vondelpark. At this point, the public could leave the park but not enter, so people decided to climb the park’s fence.
Eventually, riot police were called in to disperse the crowds. Across Amsterdam there have been 50 arrests, nine of which were for violence, reports RTL Nieuws.
— Jeroen Wetzels (@jeroenwetzels) April 27, 2021
Public told to stay home
As crowds continued to gather across the Netherlands, municipalities told people to not come into cities’ centres.
Amsterdam made this call early on in the day, shortly followed by Utrecht and Delft. As the day went on, more cities pleaded for people not to crowd local parks.
Riots in Breda
Crowds caused a commotion in Breda, the city that was due to hold a King’s Day festival with 10,000 attendees. The Valkenberg Park in Breda had to be evacuated due to the sheer number of people.
Later, the mayor of the Dutch city issued an emergency ordinance for the city centre as well as riot police being called. Over 100 fines were issued in Breda, and one person has been arrested for violence against a police officer.
Catering closed before terraces open
Yesterday, a number of catering establishments were told to close by police in Breda and Haarlem. All cafés, bars, supermarkets, and liquor stores were ordered to shut in Breda, as well as supermarkets being told to stop selling alcohol before the usual 8 PM cut-off point in Amsterdam and Haarlem.
Despite the luscious spring weather drawing people outside, coronavirus infections continue to rise. With the curfew ending, and terraces begging to open, there are doubts about the Dutch government’s coronavirus strategy.
What do you think of the response to these crowds? Let us know in the comments!
Feature Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied