Despite a drop in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands over the past several months, the Dutch government has banned multi-day festivals until September 1st.
A more recent surge in cases in the country and across the European continent, paired with new strains of the deadly coronavirus, has led many countries to reconsider easing back safety regulations. Dutch lawmakers’ decision comes after hospitals have confirmed a staggering 10,000 new cases per day. Before that, the government had rolled back and then reimposed most lockdowns on nightclubs, restaurants, and festivals in early July.
The restriction was initially slated to be lifted on August 13th, but Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has now announced that all multi-day festivals will not be allowed to operate until after September 1st at the earliest. The news affects some of the Netherlands’ biggest multi-day festival events, including Mysteryland, Lowlands, Down The Rabbit Hole and Decibel, which will now be postponed for the second year in a row.
Rutte’s reasoning for the ban includes both the surge in positive cases along with the logistical difficulty of testing festival attendees for infection every day. The ban comes as nearly 60% of adults in the country have been fully vaccinated, and an additional 23% have received the first dose of the vaccine.