Dutch buy delivery uniforms, borrow dogs to dodge coronavirus curfew

A December 2020 photo shows an empty street during a coronavirus lockdown in Amsterdam.
A December 2020 photo shows an empty street during a coronavirus lockdown in Amsterdam.PHOTO: REUTERS

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) - Fears of being cooped up during a curfew have led the Dutch to resort to creative ways to dodge the rules, with people signing up for borrow-a-dog services and ordering the uniforms of home delivery companies.

From Saturday, a nightly curfew to try and curb the pandemic starting at 9pm (5am on Sunday, Singapore time) and running until 4.30am will be imposed, the first nationwide curfew since World War II.

Exceptions will be made for essential services, including takeaway meal delivery, package couriers and those who need to take pets outdoors for walks.

A website matching those needing help with their pets with volunteers for dog walking has been overwhelmed with offers.

"We normally get 10 offers a week and since they announced plans for a curfew on Tuesday we have received 300," said Jos van Prooijen, who runs not-for-profit website, www.matcheenleenhond.nl.

Online market place Marktplaats.nl froze sales of jackets and clothing of well known delivery companies in response to soaring demand, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.

Some sellers offered empty scooter delivery boxes starting at €50 (S$80).

Violators of the curfew can be fined €95.