Restaurant industry threatens to open on January 17 and stay open

Restaurants and cafes in 50 municipalities are threatening to open their doors on January 17, regardless of coronavirus measures. 

The restaurant industry is fed up, according to Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN). The NOS reports that restaurants plan to open and stay open in the new year, whether or not it’s allowed.

The statement from KHN follows the announcement made last week by Minister of Heath Hugo de Jonge that we have to assume we’ll remain in partial lockdown until mid-January.

This timeframe won’t work for the business owners, who have already reached a breaking point, as their cries for government support throughout the coronavirus crisis have gone unanswered.

“For the time being, the uncertainty and pain do not seem to reach the cabinet,” the national organization wrote in a statement earlier this week. Now, many business owners say they’re left with no option but to disobey the rules.

“The water is no longer up to the lips”

“The now absolute financial necessity, the lack of future prospects from the cabinet and, in particular, the inconsistent government policy, leave us no choice: we will open on 17 January 2021 under strict conditions of the KHN protocol and remain open,” the press release states.

“For the catering industry, the water is no longer up to the lips, now it flows into the mouth,” said Johan de Vos, spokesperson for the business owners, in a statement last week. “We are about to drown out.”

Who is participating?

While KHN’s national organisation does not support the campaign, members of 50 local branches (out of 230) are participating. It’s unclear how many companies are involved but the initiator of the movement speaks of “thousands.”

Businesses from KHN branches in Breda, Maastricht, Leiden, Leeuwarden, Eindhoven, Arnhem, Nijmegen, and Alkmaar are all joining in the campaign.

Local branches in the country’s largest cities — Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht — on the other hand, are not.

The cabinet’s response

A government spokesperson has responded to KHN’s announcement, saying that they are following the course of coronavirus in determining next steps.

The cabinet plans to make a decision regarding the coming period next week, but this is susceptible to change based on developments in the virus.

What do you think of the restaurant industry opening in spite of government measures? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image:

Brin Andrews
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.


  1. Open up Horeca in NL before Christmas..around 23rd December..and old years..from 30th Dec into new year..stay open..
    Just keep distance even when sitting on the terraces
    Wear facemask inside and at the bar when ordering..
    Keep adequate air conditioning inside
    Stay open as people need to socialise


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