Hundreds gather in parks across Netherlands, Amsterdam mayor threatens to close Vondelpark

Amsterdam police were forced to intervene again in Vondelpark yesterday as the area became too full for people to practice social distancing. Visitors were asked to leave and some started throwing bottles. Similar issues were experienced across the Netherlands.

This follows a similar incident at the Vondelpark earlier this week, when hundreds of people gathered in the park with drinks to celebrate the sunny weather. Police initially asked visitors to leave and “come back at a quiet time”, eventually beginning to evicting people.

At this point, the police were met with some resistance, the NOS reports. Officers were hit with bottles and two arrests were made. One passerby was also hit by a bottle and had to be taken to hospital.

Close off some entrances

The Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, decided that the side entrances to the Vondelpark will remain closed today in order to restrict the flow of people. The mayor consulted with the Police and Public Prosecution Service before making this decision.

She did not say how long this measure will last, but if this fails to reduce the number of people coming to the park, Vondelpark will be closed completely.

However, the mayor sees this as a last resort. “The Vondelpark will remain open, because public space in the city is scarce. Closure is an extreme action if the behaviour of visitors gives cause to do so,” Halsema tells the NOS.

Similar issues in other cities

Police were met with similar issues in other cities such as Utrecht and Tilburg. The good weather is driving people to the public parks, which are becoming too full to practice safe social distancing.

Last night, Utrecht police also handed out over 60 fines to young people who were out after curfew. Many were under the influence of alcohol.

Do you think the Vondelpark should be closed? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Samantha Dixon/Supplied.

Sarah O'Leary ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions โ€” she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

1 COMMENT

  1. Is that the same mayor that found it fine to be in the middle of the BLM protests (without a mask). Can’t stand that woman!

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