King’s Day 2020: 719 social distancing fines given out
Over the King’s Day weekend, the police gave out 719 fines for violations of the social distancing measures. 345 fines were given out on Saturday, 309 on Sunday and only 65 on Monday, the actual public holiday in which people celebrate the birthday of the Dutch king.
All in all, police said that they found King’s Day remarkably quiet compared to normal. The majority of people in the Netherlands found ways to celebrate King's Day that did not involve breaking the current rules.
Parties took place despite social distancing measures
Parties in houses and gardens took place in many Dutch cities and towns and had to be broken up by police. "In most cases, people responded directly to police instructions when they were addressed," authorities said. "Young people also do not always comply with the guidelines."
Dozens gathered at a party in a youth hostel in Groningen on Monday and the police were called. A video of the event, in which young people were drinking and listening to loud music together, was sent to the Dagblad van het Noorden. The organisers of the event were ordered to put a stop to the party within half an hour. Everybody cooperated and nobody was fined.
However, a few hours earlier in Rotterdam, 14 people were fined in a similarly large event, when police broke up a party at a student apartment building.
The Bollenstreek, also known as the Bulb Region, famous for its tulip fields was also overflowing with people who wanted to enjoy a day out amongst the tulips, ending in visitors being fined. Similarly, the world-famous Canal Ring in Amsterdam was full of people celebrating and not taking the social distancing laws into consideration and subsequently receiving fines.
Many parts of Limburg were overcrowded, and there were even traffic jams on the bicycle paths and in many cases, cyclists and pedestrians were unable to keep to a 1,5-metre distance due to the sheer volume of people.
Current fines for failing to follow social distancing rules
The current fines are 95 euros for minors and 390 euros for adults, which are being given out for anyone failing to stand 1,5 metres apart from each other, or for gathering in groups larger than three persons.