NautaDutilh is representing Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) in summary proceedings against the Dutch government, seeking an order for the reopening of nightclubs. The hearing will take place on 14 September 2021.
On 13 August, Prime Minister Rutte announced the intention to ease the Covid-rules. Most measures will be lifted entirely by 25 September, including those applicable to the hospitality industry: mandatory seating, the 1.5-metre rule and the ban on loud music and entertainment. There is one notable exception: nightclubs must remain closed until at least 1 November 2021. The government considers clubs to be responsible for the surge in coronavirus infections that occurred between 26 June and 10 July, when the measures were temporarily eased.
Obviously, vaccination rates in younger people have increased significantly since late June/early July, which makes another surge less likely. Moreover, it is likely that the surge was caused or aggravated by the over 300,000 people who were encouraged by Minister De Jonge to get the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine and participate in nightlife immediately afterwards.
By now, these individuals should be protected. KHN will also point out that the available data provide no basis for discrimination against nightclubs. Finally, KHN believes the government applies a double standard: while the Dutch Grand Prix attracts 70,000 visitors per day and football stadiums are packed, nightclubs must remain closed.
KHN is represented by Catrien Rozeman, Saskia Nuijten and Paul Olden.