RAI Amsterdam to remain open despite new Dutch Government restrictions

Following caretaker Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte’s announcement of a three-week partial lockdown as Covid-19 cases rise in the Netherlands, the RAI Amsterdam says the measures will have limited effect on coming events scheduled at the venue.

“All scheduled national as well as international events during the coming period will be held in compliance with all new public health and safety guidelines,” a statement from the RAI said. The new opening hours are from 6am to 6pm, however, which means that any scheduled evening programmes will be cancelled.

The Dutch government justified its move, saying it wanted to “deliver a hard blow to the virus”.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said that the government is also working on legislation to restrict access in some “high-risk” locations and events to people who can demonstrate they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 – and not allow people who have tested negative. Austria and parts of Germany already have similar restrictions in place.

The partial lockdown that began on 13 November, and which is set to last for three weeks, was the first to start in Western Europe since a new wave of infections began to rise on the continent.

A maximum number of 1,250 visitors per indoor space will apply for events in Holland, with fixed seating for visitors, such as congresses. Trade shows are not limited to a number of visitors.

Focus on health and safety

“We understand the sentiment that prevails surrounding the worldwide Covid-situation and measures that are being implemented to safeguard everyone’s health and safety. The news concerning the current situation has an effect on all of us. As acknowledged by our government, the partial lockdown does not affect exhibitions. International exhibitions have been proven to be safe and do not pose a higher risk of Covid-infection,” explained Maurits van der Sluis, COO of RAI Amsterdam, who added the venue was doing its “utmost to maintain the highest levels of public health and safety during our events”.  

The COO told EW that the METS Tradeshow was underway and although there would be curtailments on evening entertainments for delegates business was being done. "The fun will have to come next year," Van der Sluis added.

Media show IBC is still set to run 3-6 December, although the PLMA show, which had been due at the RAI 14-15 December, has been cancelled. The next 'World of Private Label' is scheduled for 31 May & 1 June 2022, back on its usual spring dates.

Visitors to events organised in the RAI must show a valid Covid entry pass. This means that the person in question must either have gone through a complete course of vaccinations, or have a valid certificate of recovery from Covid, or have a valid negative Covid test certificate (valid for a maximum of 24 hours. A valid paper version of the Covid entry pass is also sufficient. Visitors also go through a health check (triage). If catering/dining facilities are available during events, fixed seating is required, with the exception of takeaway food services.

A valid Covid entry pass will be required to access cultural sites and events.

See the RAI Amsterdam video just released from the trade show floor of the biggest marine equipment show in the world, METS Trade