Amsterdam news roundup | October 2020
Written by BroadcastAMS on 30/10/2020
A local news roundup for Amsterdam … also shared on Broadcast Amsterdam radio throughout the day.
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In ten years’ time, there’s a new plan to ensure 25% of our food is sourced locally, reports Het Parool. The municipality of Amsterdam has signed a declaration of intent to sell more locally produced food in and around the city. Together with farmers’ cooperatives in the region and interest groups, they have formed the Regional Alliance Short Chains collaboration. The aim is that the supply of local food in Amsterdam will grow from about five to 25% in the next ten years, local meaning food from companies in Noord-Holland and Flevoland. Current local intitiatives to encourage shorter distances within the food chain include, Boeren voor Buren, Support Your Locals, and a new service called Van Amsterdamse Boeren a digital market, on the VanAmsterdamseBodem.nl website.
If it is up to a majority of the city council, the voting for Amsterdam’s local elections in March should be spread over two weeks so that polling stations don’t become too busy. The politicians hope that mayor Halsema agrees with them, saying that many polling stations are not big enough to keep a distance of five feet, which could also deter voters. On March 17, an election takes place for the political parties that want to enter the House of Representatives. The municipality would also need to find enough volunteers to supervise the voting in the polling stations for two weeks, says the report by Het Parool.
The GVB will reduce the timetable in the first half of 2021, reports AT5. The transport company has to cut costs because of the much lower number of travelers. It is not yet known what the new timetable will look like exactly but it is already clear that the number of journeys on the Noord/Zuidlijn is going from ten to eight per hour.
Amsterdam’s direct train connection with London came into service on Monday 26 October. The train runs from Central Station and arrives at Kings Cross St Pancras after four hours and nine minutes, with no changes required. The train stops in Rotterdam and Brussels but there is no need to disembark. Previously, travelers on the Amsterdam-London route always had to get off in Brussels-South for passport control. This check is now done at Amsterdam CS or Rotterdam CS.
However, England and the Netherlands have issued travel advice for each other’s residents requiring travellers to quarantine for 14 days if you travel to England. If you travel from England to the Netherlands, you must be in quarantine for 10 days. The usual corona rules apply in the train, such as wearing a mouth mask and keeping as much distance as possible. Due to the collapsed demand, there are currently only two trains a day and they do not run on weekends. Prices start from €46 euros one way.
Four of the seven participants in the Extinction Rebellion protests in Amsterdam South and Center in October 2019 have been acquitted by the Amsterdam court, reports Het Parool. Legal requirements for prosecution could not be met in the cases for four of the demonstrators, as there was a lack of evidence they disobeyed orders from the police. The three remaining cases have been declared inadmissible as those concerned had been detained for longer than the permitted six hours.
Rituals, the Amsterdam cosmetics and lifestyle brand, has opened a new brand new store, House of Rituals, on the Spui. The company has invested €10million euros in the new store, however, due to the current coronavirus measures, the store will open partially for now. The store restaurant, Rouhi, must remain closed for the time being. A wellness center and ‘mind spa’ are planned for the top two floors, and these should open in the summer of 2021.
The trend of young people renting a hotel room to ‘chill’ has repeatedly led to escalations in recent weeks, reports Het Parool. According to police, there have been several incidents in hotels in recent weeks where an adult rented a room for groups of young people to use as a hang out. In one hotel staff have even been mistreated. The police have announced that they will approach schools to discuss ‘this new trend’ with students.
While many indoor activities are inaccessible due to the tightened corona rules, museums may remain open during the partial lockdown, but relatively few people are visiting, says a report by Het Parool. Whereas theaters, music venues and concert halls are limited to a maximum of thirty visitors, museums are allowed to receive more people: the maximum allowed capacity depends on how many people fit the available number of square meters, while keeping a distance of 1.5 meters from each other. Elles Kamphuis, press officer of the Rijksmuseum reports about 1,700 visitors even though they are allowed 2,500 people with all safety rules in mind. (This would normally be 8-10,000 visitors in any normal year.)
New wooden planters will be hung from the railing of the bridges in the ‘Damstraatjes’ (Damstraat, Oude Doelenstraat, Oude Hoogstraat and Nieuwe Hoogstraat). The aim is to prevent bicycles from parking on the bridges and to give pedestrians space again on the pavement. To ensure that the plants look beautiful all year round, regular maintenance is carried out by the homeless visitors to the Coffee House and StreetCornerWork. The municipality has made extra space for bicycle parking by removing car parking spaces on the quays along the canals.
Resident groups are concerned about the increasing air traffic over the centre of Amsterdam. According to Het Parool, they fear that the number of aircraft flying low over the city will increase even further, following a recent report by the Dutch Safety Board (OVV).
(Sources: Het Parool / AT5 / NLtimes.nl / Dutchnews.nl.)
Volunteer reporters needed
Obviously there were lots more news stories in Amsterdam during this time but we struggle to keep up at times. We’re looking for volunteer news correspondents for online and radio to help us keep the international community in the city up to date with local news. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.