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New COVID-19 Measures Could Force Coffeeshops To Close Smoking Rooms

Coronavirus forced coffeeshops to close in March. Could the second wave shut them down again?

Could COVID-19 really force Netherlands coffeeshops to close, again?

Last night (6 August), Prime Minister Marc Rutte addressed the country regarding the current state of COVID-19 in the Netherlands. “The virus is on a dangerous advance,” said the Prime Minister. During this speech, we learned of new precautionary measures to help combat the fear of a second wave of COVID-19. The last time Prime Minister Rutte gave a press conference was 24 June.

Catering Industry Must Now Register Guests

These new measures focus on the catering industry, where caterers will have to collect contact details of all parties involved in a reservation. This is to ensure the ease of contact tracing in the event that there is an infection. In the case an infection is found, the restaurant will be forced to close for 2 weeks. 

New Catering Industry Measures In The Coffeeshops?

Where is one place tourists are bound to go in Amsterdam? That is correct, coffeeshops. When Coronavirus first hit the Netherlands, all coffeeshops were forced to close doors while measures were placed to allow them to reopen for take away only. On 1 July, coffeeshops could choose to reopen their smoking areas. With smoking rooms open, even with strict measures in place, it is virtually impossible to prevent spreading of germs. What could this mean for the coffeeshops?  New COVID-19 measures could force coffeeshops to close!

When Coronavirus first hit the Netherlands, all coffeeshops were forced to close doors while measures were placed to allow them to reopen for take away only.
When Coronavirus first hit the Netherlands, all coffeeshops were forced to close doors while measures were placed to allow them to reopen for take away only.

As of last night, the Dutch catering industry will need to collect customer contact details for the ease of contact tracing. Customers wishing to enjoy smoking rooms at coffeeshops are already required to purchase beverages for consumption. Many coffeeshops serve snacks, edibles, milkshakes, and even hot food! Taking all this into consideration, could the coffeeshops also be required to collect contact details? Surely, many will not want to provide a coffeeshop their details, you know, because cannabis is illegal in many parts of the world. Closing the smoking rooms seems like a viable option here. Several coffeeshops, such as Blue Lagoon and Grey Area decided to not open their smoking rooms on 1 July.

Closed smoking area at Coffeeshop Blue Lagoon.

So what’s next, could COVID-19 really force coffeeshops to close again? I expect changes to these measures soon. These amendments may force coffeeshops to close smoking areas, or even worse, close completely like we saw back in March! 

Note: This is all speculation based on facts, laws, and the current state of the world.

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