Metro Reporter Beatrice Wihlander looks into the creative responses to bypass the new curfew regulations in the Netherlands.
Inhabitants of the Netherlands have lived under a strict lockdown since December 15, 2020. The next step in reducing the spread of the virus has been to implement a curfew. This is now in place from 9 pm until 4.30 am and will last until at least 9 February when the lockdown is scheduled to end. Carrying a statement of employment is now required to travel outside of these hours and violations will result in a €95 fine.
The curfew was met with strong feelings even before its official announcement. Before the confirmation, the NL Times reported in a survey conducted with over 35,000 participants that 30% would ignore the curfew if it were to be implemented. The number was higher for the younger participants under the age of 30, in which 50% said that they would ignore the potential curfew. In fact, many participants were sceptical about the curfew as 60% believed it would not happen.
In the meantime, people have come up with creative ways to bypass the curfew regulations without getting caught. There are certain exceptions for leaving home, such as for emergencies and work, seeking medical attention and walking your dog. As a result, people are going out of their way to walk their dogs more often than before, even going as far as borrowing other people’s dogs. Perhaps even more surprising is the increased demand for delivery uniforms with which people can disguise themselves as employees.
This has resulted in Thuisbezorgd and Deliveroo jackets, food bags and other accessories rapidly appearing on Marktplaats, to the extent that the website has had to ban all adverts relating to merchandise from these delivery companies. Despite Marktplaats trying its best to prevent this, people still continue to post these items listed as “Avoid Curfew Clothes” or “Curfew Delivery Jacket”, selling them for hundreds of euros.
The delivery companies have not condoned the sale of their uniforms, but it appears to be outside their control. Uniforms not only belong to current employees, but also to previous employees and restaurants that received them as gifts when signing contracts.
It seems that the crackdown on Marktplaats, just like on the streets across the Netherlands, continues.
“The NL Times reported in a survey conducted with over 35,000 participants that 30% would ignore the curfew, if it were to be implemented.”