The editors of RTL Nieuws took a tour of the 25 security regions in the Netherlands. These security regions are about the local response to disasters and crises, and therefore also about the corona crisis. They are not exactly unanimous about whether Halloween and St. Maarten can continue this year.
The Netherlands appears to be roughly divided into security regions that advise against the parties and security regions that allow them to take place, but which do attach rules to this.
‘Urgently not recommended’
Sint Maarten is strongly advised against by the North Holland North safety region. Not surprising in itself: the risk here has recently been increased to the very highest level, very serious. “We have to do everything we can to reduce the virus,” he said.
Just a year ago, they also say in the South Holland South region. In Utrecht, the response is: “We call on everyone to ask themselves whether the celebration of St. Maarten this year on 11 November is a good idea.”
Pediatrician-epidemiologist Patricia Bruijning of the UMC Utrecht will in any case not be celebrating Halloween this year, she told de Volkskrant this week. Children are less contagious and contamination through objects is likely to be rare. Yet she is not comfortable and keeps her children at home.
‘Children only have a small share’
Very different sounds can be heard from the north of the country. The tour through the doors can continue there. Perhaps not surprising, because there the risk is one level lower, at ‘serious’. Yet contamination levels are not that far apart either.
Apparently there is room for interpretation and one region sees it as a risk and the other does not. For example, Koen Schuiling, mayor of Groningen and chairman of the security region there, reports to RTL Nieuws: “The party in which children visit the doors with lanterns can continue. After all, children only have a small share in the spread of the virus, especially outside. . “
Incidentally, it applies to all security regions that allow it to go through doors: they strongly advise against all other events around Halloween and St.
Most regions assume their own responsibility and refer to the general advice from the national government, which has even created a separate page for this.
Children at the doors, the government advises:
“If you visit the doors with your child at Halloween or St. Maarten? Then go alone with your own family or with a small, permanent group at the doors. Keep at least 1.5 meters away from the residents. Do not organize any activities in the street or neighborhood where adults come together in a group. “
“Children up to the age of 12 are allowed to sing at parties and parades or entrances. Children from the age of 13 and adults do not sing along.”
Source: National government
‘Only wrapped candies’
Some security regions provide some additional advice, such as the Gelderland-Midden region. There it is recommended to visit the doors ‘in small groups’, with a maximum of four adults as a companion. Tip for the kids: “Only accept wrapped candies and chocolates and keep the lights clearly visible.”
The people who open the door have also been thought of. “Make a chalk sign on the sidewalk in front of the door for five feet. And if you don’t want to open the door as a precaution, please and post a friendly note for the children.”
Mayor Marcouch, chairman of the safety region: “Be careful, follow the rules, also at Halloween and St. Maarten. Have fun and stay healthy.”
Halloween is on October 31, St. Maarten on November 11.
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