Just like on Monday, traffic has come to a complete standstill in and around Antwerp for the day. This is because many Dutch people are coming to shop here now that nonessential businesses in their country are closed. Police demand parking outside the city. County Governor Cathy Birx has asked everyone to take responsibility and is currently describing shopping tourism from the Netherlands as “counterproductive and unwise”.
It was so busy on a Tuesday afternoon that the police even had to direct traffic to the P&R car parks out of town. “As the downtown streets became over-saturated and garages were full, traffic was directed to the panels and thus to the P&R car parks. In the coming days, we are asking you not to drive into town, but Park your car in the suburbs.
It was also noticeably busy at Central Station. There are a lot of Dutch who came for one day shopping in Antwerp. NMBS had to deploy additional security personnel. Securail got help from the Federal Rail Police. Since this afternoon, the Dutch Railways (NS) has also advised against taking the train from Holland to Antwerp or Ghent,” said Dimitri Timmermann.
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“It gives a cynical feeling that people are avoiding the procedures in their country by going elsewhere. Consequently, the procedures lose all their effectiveness and infections in both countries will continue to rise. A lot of people are getting close to each other, so let that be the perfect context for the virus and infections and then the extra pressure on Healthcare. You would think that everyone has understood little by little and still trying to be vigilant. Measures in the Netherlands are in place to avoid increasing pressure on healthcare. This happening now shows little respect for the sector. “It is a matter of It is unwise and shows little solidarity.”
When asked if there is anything that can be done about it, she said she is legally and legally powerless. “We can only monitor Covid Safe Ticket use, adhere to a mouth mask, leave catering establishments on time, adhere to the 6 per table rule, avoid crowded places…and hopefully people will use common sense for the next days.”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte also called on the Dutch at the beginning of last week not to travel to Belgium or Germany if it was not strictly necessary. He emphasized that the advice of the Cabinet and the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) is to reduce contact with others as much as possible.
Not only was the place “unusually busy” in Antwerp, but people could also walk over their heads in Ghent and in the village of Massachlin. And there are, too, especially Dutch number plates on the streets and in parking lots. Promises for the coming days and the bargaining period. In the Netherlands, the severe lockdown will last until at least January 14.