Amsterdam cancels New Year’s celebrations

Market Night in Funchal – under advice

Amsterdam cafe, where there will be few New Year celebrations
Guests in a restaurant drink their last drink before cafes and restaurants have to close their doors at 20:00 hrs, in Amsterdam,

JN, on the mainland, reports that New Year’s Eve celebrations organized by Amsterdam City Council, such as the countdown or fireworks shows, have been cancelled due to the high rate of daily infections and hospitalizations for COVID-19.

In a precedent that will no doubt be followed across Europe, the mayor of Amsterdam has already decided to cancel the celebration on Museumplein square, where the national countdown to the start of the New Year usually takes place, but also the various concerts and fireworks scheduled for various districts of the city.

“Due to the rapid increase in infections and hospital admissions and the additional restrictions, the prospects are bleak. As it is very uncertain and we have to make significant investments in advance for this time, it would not be responsible to continue with the preparations” for the New Year’s events said Femke Halsema, quoted by the EFE agency.

The fireworks shows organized by the municipality seek to be an alternative to the fireworks used individually by citizens, an activity that is practically prohibited from this year onwards.

COVID-19 infections in the Netherlands have soared since the government decided to end restrictions such as social distancing at the end of September and bet on the use of the health pass. The Dutch Institute of Public Health (RIVM) reported this Monday 19,274 new infections in the last 24 hours, a new maximum by nearly three thousand cases.

The positive cases documented in the last hours also include the results of tests carried out over the weekend and which suffered a delay in the result due to technical problems, but also because testing centers in large cities were unable to respond to new requests.

13% remain unvaccinated

The vaccination rate in the Netherlands remains stagnant at 82.4% for those over 12 years old with the complete vaccination schedule and at 85.9% have at least one dose. It is believed that around 13% of the population does not intend to be vaccinated for various reasons, ranging from skepticism about the safety of vaccines against covid-19 to religious reasons.

The Dutch government has already implemented measures such as limiting social life for those not vaccinated or infected with COVID-19, and mandatory testing to gain access to hotels, cultural and musical events, gyms, swimming pools or other public places.

But this approach does not appear to be having an effect on reducing hospital pressure and the number of those infected – thus the early announcement of the New Year’s cancellations.

The executive is studying the bet on a “2G” policy, which involves the issuance of a health pass valid only for people with full vaccination or recovered from the disease.

In areas in Germany, and Austrian sectors such as hospitality, only people who have proof of either complete vaccination or recovery from coronavirus are allowed entry. This has been dubbed ‘2G’ as opposed to the current Dutch rule allowing three categories of people, including those with a negative corona test in the past 24 hours (known as ‘3G’).

Thanks to PeterA for the link

Market Night “under discussion”

Câmara Municipal do Funchal recently announced that it will do everything possible to ensure that the Christmas Market Night goes ahead. However, they confirmed that with the number of daily Covid cases rising, both the newly elected Mayor of Funchal, Pedro Calado and the Regional Secretary for Health, Pedro Ramos are to meet to discuss and decide whether or not the event will take place this year.

In a statement the city council said “everything depends on the advice from the Regional Director of Health.  We are doing everything in our power to ensure the continuation of the event and have everything prepared, but with the rising number of cases it is very difficult to return to a pre-Covid existence. 

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