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The Netherlands Takes Major Step in Relaxing Its Coronavirus Lockdown

Αssociated Press

A road sign warns bicyclists and motorists of crossing waiters in the centre of Heiloo, north-western Netherlands, Sunday, May 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Netherlands has taken a major step to relax the coronavirus lockdown, with bars, restaurants, cinemas and museums reopening under strict conditions.

The move happens on a major public holiday and with the sun out blazing, there were immediate fears for overcrowding like in popular beach resorts like Scheveningen close to The Hague.

Under the new rules, bars and restaurants will be allowed to cater to up to 30 patrons inside if they keep social distancing. There will be no standing room in the bars and reservations will be necessary. There are no crowd limits for terraces outside if distance is kept. Owners have been preparing for the move for weeks, after they missed out on over two months of income because of the crisis.

Museums, such as the world-famous Rijksmuseum will be reopening too but need to keep to strict rules on reservations and crowding.

Public transport will also be expanding to resume regular schedules as of Tuesday but will bar people sitting close to one another.