Sign up for Utrecht’s open bars experiment starts April 7

Five bars in the Utrecht city center will be open from Wednesday, April 14 to Saturday, April 17 in the latest Fieldlab experiment on how to reopen the entertainment sector in the coronavirus crisis. Customers and staff can sign up on Fieldlab’s website for the experiment from April 7.

“Together, of course at 1.5 meters, at the bar; it sounds like something from a bygone era,” said Utrecht Mayor Sharon Dijksma in a statement. During the experiment, research institute TNO will analyze how customers and staff move through the bars and interact with each other.

“The insights gained from this trial in Utrecht are important for the reopening of cafés throughout the Netherlands. That is an important ray of hope for all catering entrepreneurs and their guests,” Dijksma said.

The participating bars are Hofman, De Beurs, Ubica, VinVin, and ‘t Oude Pierement. They are all located in the city center. The experiment was scaled down from original plans as the daily number of coronavirus infections has gone up nationally by 60 percent this month. In Utrecht, daily infections have gone up on average from 54 to 137.

All customers and staff must present proof of a negative coronavirus test before entering one of the bars if given permission. Time slots of either 90 minutes or three hours will be available and must be booked in advance. The negative test certificate may be obtained from municipal health service GGD at the extra-larger Jaarbeurs test center.