Already at least 46 ice rinks are open to the public on Thursday afternoon, sees the skating association KNSB. But also a number of associations have temporarily closed because of the bright sun. The ice will need time back there to recover, says the union.
The fact that the ice is damaged by intensive use and sunlight is nothing new. Often associations open their doors in the evening when the sun is down. “Because of the curfew, ice rinks now decide to stay closed all day long,” says a spokesman for the KNSB. Many ice rinks regulate the hustle and bustle by allowing members only. According to the KNSB, this has a favourable side effect. “There is an additional number of new members in these associations.”
The skate fever in the Netherlands is not limited only to the ice rinks. Also on natural ice, the need to skate is great. The KNSB warns of safety and crowds in areas such as the Loosdrechtse and Ankeveense Lakes. “Before canals, puddles and canals have a thick enough ice floor, it must have frozen for several days. Anyone who goes ice over one night takes big risks. Above all, in coronatijd, stay as close to home as possible when skating.”
The opened ice rinks are scattered throughout the Netherlands. Only in the provinces of Flevoland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg there are no skating lanes associated with the skating federation.