Dutch take to the ice as canals and lakes freeze over

People ice skating on a frozen canal in the Weerribben-Wieden nature reserve in Overijssel during a cold winter day in The Netherlands on February 12, 2021 in Belt-Schutsloot, Netherlands.IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES

Ice skating fever is gripping the Netherlands after days of sub-zero temperatures froze lakes, ponds and canals across the country.

Many welcomed the opportunity to don their skates amid coronavirus restrictions.

“This is the perfect reason to go out and have a little fun with the museums and everything being closed,” one woman told Reuters news agency as she strapped on her skates in Amsterdam on Friday.

But officials have urged people to stay close to home and avoid crowds to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Dozens of skaters briefly glided along the surface of Amsterdam’s historic Prinsengracht canal on Saturday.

People walk and skate on ice on the Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13 February 2021.IMAGE COPYRIGHTEPA

It was the first time since 2018 that skating there had been possible, reports said.

“It’s a once-every-so-many-years experience, so when you get the chance, do it,” one man told the Associated Press news agency.

People walk and skate on ice on the Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13 February 2021.IMAGE COPYRIGHTEPA

Elsewhere in the country, people made the most of frozen lakes, ponds and canals before a thaw expected to begin in coming days.

As the wintry weather continues, skaters are taking the chance to skate in one of the frozen lakes close to the Dutch city of Nijmegen, on February 12th, 2021.IMAGE COPYRIGHTNURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
People ice skating on a frozen canal in the water village of Giethoorn in the Weerribben-Wieden nature reserve in Overijssel during a cold winter day in The Netherlands on February 12, 2021 in Giethoorn, Netherlands.IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
People ice skate during a cold wave across the country, in Amsterdam, Netherlands February 12, 2021.IMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS

At the frozen Nannewiid lake in the north of the country, groups played hockey, parents pulled their children along on sledges, and dogs took to the ice.

A boy plays ice hockey on the Nannewiid, a lake frozen over as temperatures stay below zero and locals enjoy activities like speed skating, ice hockey, using sleds and walking dogs on February 12, 2021 in Oudehaske, Netherlands.IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
People skate on the Nannewiid, a lake frozen over as temperatures stay below zero and locals enjoy activities like speed skating, ice hockey, using sleds and walking dogs on February 12, 2021 in Oudehaske, Netherlands.IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
A man walks his dog on the Nannewiid, a lake frozen over as temperatures stay below zero and locals enjoy activities like speed skating, ice hockey, using sleds and walking dogs on February 12, 2021 in Oudehaske, Netherlands.IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES

Our correspondent Anna Holligan shared photos of people enjoying the ice in The Hague.

People skating in The HagueIMAGE COPYRIGHTANNA HOLLIGAN/BBC
People skating in The HagueIMAGE COPYRIGHTANNA HOLLIGAN/BBC

“Take advantage of the good weather and the ice, but do it under Covid-19 measures,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte told a news conference on Monday. “You can skate with another person, but what you can’t do is organise big competitions. Unfortunately that doesn’t work.”

BBC

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