Amsterdam to ban travelers from its famous cafes
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Amsterdam is set to stun travelers planning to visit the Dutch capital as it prepares to ban travelers from being able to visit its famous cafes. While Amsterdam has a lot to offer travelers, with its picturesque canals, galleries and countless other cultural experiences, there are still many travelers who flock to the city in droves to take advantage of its relaxed drug laws in its quirky cafes – but if local politicians get what they want, it could spell the end of these activities for tourists.
Although Amsterdam is not the first popular destination to introduce policies to tackle drug use and the anti-social behavior that goes with it, such a move could have negative consequences for its tourism levels – and is already being opposed by some city businesses. Here is an overview of the proposed change, why it is being considered as well as a reminder of the requirements for entering the Netherlands at present.
Ban on Cafes – What Travelers Need to Know
Although not everyone’s cup of tea, research has shown that up to 30% of all tourists who visit Amsterdam end up visiting a café with the aim of buying and consuming cannabis, in taking advantage of the relaxed drug laws. who have helped put Amsterdam on the map for tourists of all types. However, all of this could soon change with the changes planned by the city’s politicians.
The plan was presented once again by the mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema. Under the planned rule change, cannabis could be purchased at the city’s 166 licensed cafes per residents only, leaving tourists unable to buy it. Adding a resident-only rule in Amsterdam would see the city’s cannabis policy match the policies of some other cities in the Netherlands.
According to Mayor Halsema, by limiting the use of cafes to local residents, many of the city’s problems will be solved. “Many of the city’s major problems are fueled by the cannabis market: from nuisance caused by drug tourism to serious crime and violence,” Halsema said, adding, “Banning the sale to tourists is a necessary intervention. …and a first step towards regulation.”
However, not all city politicians agree with this decision. City councilors from three political parties are in talks to form a coalition to block the planned policy change. The groups argue that not only would such a change fuel the rise of illicit drug trafficking by young people to meet the need for drugs, but that the city currently lacks the resources to enforce and monitor such a change.
Although the news may be concerning for travelers, they need not worry too much at this time. This is not the first time such plans have been drawn up, with previous plans to introduce the policy in Amsterdam not kicking off in 2012. However, the pandemic has led countries to rethink their approach to tourism, so it should not be ruled out completely.
In order to visit the netherlands now, fully vaccinated travelers from the US, Canada and the UK do not need to present a negative Covid-19 test, but must complete a health declaration form prior to travel. Unvaccinated travelers who have recovered from Covid-19 within the last 180 days can also enter – more details can be found here.
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice