As the excitement about King’s Day grows stronger, so do the concerns about the upcoming trial coronavirus events in the Netherlands. In Breda, these escalated into a petition against a King’s Day party which is planned to take place on April 24.
The petition against 538 Oranjedag — an event that is organised by Radio 538 to celebrate King’s Day — was initiated by the employees of the Amphia hospital in Breda.
According to the petitioners, the event is “a slap in the face of the healthcare providers in the hospital 400 meters away.” As of this morning, the petition had more than 300,000 digital signatures.
The petitioners are calling to cancel this “ill-considered pseudo-experiment.” The hospital already had to scale down its regular care due to the pandemic, reports the NOS.
Another reason for concern is the potential run-up to the emergency room. “It’s a party, so people drink, or maybe use other substances,” says a spokesperson.
Voices of hospitality
Healthcare providers and concerned patients are not the only ones who are baffled by the fact that the event is being organised at this time when hospitals are overflowing with coronavirus patients. Restaurant and bar owners also feel “stabbed in the back.”
“The fact that this event can take place at a stone’s throw away from the catering industry, which as a sector is not allowed to do anything, is very stinging,” says the vice-chairman of the Breda department of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, Johan de Vos.
Decision is up to Breda
Radio 538, the organizer of this event, understands that the healthcare system is currently under immense pressure. However, if the government backs the event, Radio 538 will be “honoured to carry it out in a responsible manner,” says a spokesperson.
Tonight, the municipality of Breda will be discussing whether the event gets a green light. Paul Depla, the city’s mayor, wants to carefully consider all the advice and perspectives before making a decision.
Over a million interested people
The interest in the event was immense, with more than one million people trying to get one of the 10,000 available tickets. Some tickets were offered for over 15,000 euros. The last tickets were also auctioned for charity.
Government to continue with trial events
Despite the criticism surrounding Oranjedag in Breda, the Dutch cabinet wants to continue with the so-called field lab events, reports NU.nl.
The government emphasizes that these events are not just ordinary parties. They serve as a way to find out how we can organize large gatherings safely again, reports the NOS. More trial events are planned in the coming weeks.
How do you feel about the events in Breda? Which side do you stand on? Let us know in the comments below!