The narrow canal-side streets and alleys of Amsterdam's famed Red Light District, normally packed with tourists, were largely deserted.(AP)
The narrow canal-side streets and alleys of Amsterdam's famed Red Light District, normally packed with tourists, were largely deserted.(AP)

Amsterdam’s ‘Red Light’ district shuts, long lines for marijuana

Sex clubs in Amsterdam’s ‘Red Light’ district were told to close down and long lines formed at marijuana coffee shops on Sunday, as the Netherlands imposed tight restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Amsterdam | By Reuters
UPDATED ON MAR 17, 2020 12:47 PM IST

Sex clubs in Amsterdam’s ‘Red Light’ district were told to close down and long lines formed at marijuana coffee shops on Sunday, as the Netherlands imposed tight restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The government ordered all restaurants, cafes and schools shut down until April 6.

The measure included the famous Dutch bars selling hashish and cannabis and strip clubs, Health Minister Arie Slob said. They were told to stop serving customers at 1800 (1700 GMT) on Sunday.

The neighbourhood draws millions of visitors to erotic dance shows, adult clubs and brothels, where prostitutes pose in lingerie behind red-lit windows.

The Casa Rosso, Peepshow, Banana Bar and Erotic Museum were among adult entertainment venues along the capital’s old canals that said they would shut.

“In the interest of the health of staff and guests, the management no longer considers it responsible to stay open,” said a statement by de Otten Groep, a company that runs a number of the clubs, Amsterdam’s Het Parool newspaper reported.

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Netherlands rose by 176 to 1,135 on Sunday, with 20 deaths, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said.

The Dutch flower industry also warned on Sunday that it was facing huge losses due to cancelled orders during one of the busiest times of the year.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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