As the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States and Europe, government officials in the Netherlands ordered the closure of schools, restaurants, bars, and other businesses including cannabis cafes. The announcement from the Dutch ministers of health and education on Sunday led to long lines outside the country’s famed ‘coffeeshops’ in Amsterdam and other cities as customers rushed to buy pot before they closed. The closures were ordered to begin at 6 p.m. Sunday and are expected to remain in effect until April 6.
One woman, who declined to be identified because of her job as a health care worker, told a photographer with the Associated Press that she saw a live stream of the government announcement. Health minister Bruno Bruins specifically mentioned the coffee shops, prompting the woman to rush to the cannabis cafe Bullwackie in southern Amsterdam.
“I don’t smoke much, but I thought if I have to sit inside for three weeks,” she said while waiting in line.
The government order also applied to coffee shops in other Dutch cities, including Utrecht and the country’s capital The Hague.
“For maybe for the next two months we’re not able to get some