Large number of theaters, concert halls and zoos reopen as a pilot

The government is starting pilots to try out how access tests work in practice. These are pilots in zoos, museums and sports activities. To this end, the cabinet is working together with the relevant sectors, security regions and municipalities.

For example, 43 theaters and concert halls will open their doors to the public from 13 to 21 April. All participating stages are affiliated with the Association of Theater and Concert Hall Directors (VSCD). Visitors must take a quick test free of charge in advance. Anyone with a negative test result is welcome.

Minister Hugo de Jonge: “The measures are tough for all of us and it has been taking so long now. We are convinced that with access tests we can open up activities more carefully and responsibly than could be the case before, so that society again can reopen step by step. “


The participating theaters and concert halls have been selected in nineteen municipalities. Gabbi Mesters, director of the VSCD: “Our members have a lot of enthusiasm and willingness to participate. In February we called on the cabinet to implement the exit strategy with more courage and creativity, for example by using rapid tests. we are hopeful that the caretaker cabinet will respond to our call with this pilot. “

Previously, so-called field labs had already gained limited experience with access to events with a negative test certificate. In that research design, the focus was mainly on the behavior of people. The aim of these new pilots with access tests is to further investigate how the use of tests works for, among other things, test logistics, infrastructure, ICT and the willingness to test among people.

Convince the cabinet

For the pilot, the VSCD is working together with the Ministries of VWS, OCW, Open Netherlands Foundation and the Taskforce of the Cultural and Creative Sector. Information about the operation of the test lanes is important, also in the case of upscaling. Furthermore, the logistics of scanning with special apps are tested and whether there is enough enthusiasm among the public to be tested in advance.

“With the new test results, we hope to convince the cabinet to use more rapid tests for the reopening of the cultural sector, so that the meter and a half are completely let go in the short term,” says Mesters.


Only stages have been selected in the vicinity of a rapid test location. Theaters and concert halls must adhere to the 1.5 meter protocol. To limit public travel, there are three test periods (April 13-15, April 16-18, and April 19-21) spread across different parts of the country. Curfew is taken into account in the programming so that the audience is home on time.

Mesters is proud that the stages have managed the pilot together with artists, musicians and producers. “And that under such high time pressure.”

A selection from the offer: Herman van Veen is in the Chass√© Theater in Breda, Peter Pannekoek in TAQA in Alkmaar. Theater Rotterdam plays ‘Sadness is the Thing with Feathers’ and ‘De Wildernis’ by Wende Snijders can be seen in Flint, Amersfoort. Dutch National Opera and Ballet brings Brahms to its stage and MartiniPlaza the theater show ‘Stayin’ Alive Disco Fever ‘.

So-called Fieldlab events will also be held again:

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