Mayor wants to introduce an alcohol ban for Amsterdam parks
The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, is looking to introduce an alcohol and laughing gas ban for parks in the Dutch capital, in the hopes that this will prevent parks from having to be closed to the public.
Large crowds gather in sunshine in spite of coronavirus rules
The intermittent bursts of nice weather that the Netherlands has enjoyed over the past couple of weeks has seen large numbers of people congregating in any and all available public spaces to make the most of the sunshine. Parks across the country have been forced to evacuate crowds and close their gates to the public - the Vondelpark, for instance, has seen entrances closed at least four times over the last six weeks.
The municipality has attempted to discourage people travelling into the centre of the city to meet friends or family in parks, instead asking them to find somewhere closer to home to enjoy the warm weather. Some parks in the city have also been adorned with large circles in the grass, in an attempt to encourage the public to socialise in small groups and maintain the recommended 1,5-metre distance.
Halsema hopes alcohol ban will prevent parties
However, these plans are yet to prove wholly successful, and so Halsema is looking for other ways to deter young people and prevent parties from taking place. Not only can she close off public areas if she expects large crowds to gather, but she can also temporarily reclaim designated areas to prevent outdoor parties.
That rule means that the mayor can “prohibit the possession of alcoholic beverages, nitrous oxide and sound equipment in certain areas.” Halsema hopes the rule would mean she is no longer left in a position where she is forced to close parks, acknowledging that people are already stuck indoors and green spaces are in short supply.
While Halsema is already able to introduce alcohol bans for parts of the city, the new rule will mean she has the power to impose last-minute, short-term restrictions. If the rule comes into effect, it will grant the mayor these powers until 2022. A similar rule has already been introduced in Arnhem.