Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb will be closing the shops in the center of his city early on Friday, one day before the Netherlands celebrates Sinterklaas. The same goes for next week Friday, ANP reports.

Stores will close at 6:00 p.m. on these days. Aboutaleb hopes this will prevent shopping streets becoming overcrowded as they did on Black Friday last week, and that it will encourage people to do their shopping earlier in the week.

“We did not properly assess the massiveness with which young people came to the city center on Black Friday,” Aboutaleb said. He does not want the same to happen again in the coming weeks.

Social distancing is a key measure in the fight against the coronavirus. And keeping 1.5 meters apart becomes increasingly difficult the more crowded an area gets.

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