The Dutch cabinet is most interested in opening pub and restaurant terraces, non-essential shops, and scrapping the curfew
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Dagblad van het Noorden, trusty ‘Hague Sources’ have confirmed that the Dutch government wants to loosen Coronavirus regulations at the end of this month (assuming that daily infection rates continue to fall and the vaccination campaign picks up speed).
The Dutch cabinet is waiting for six million people to be ‘protected’ against the Coronavirus before loosening restrictions, and it is expected that this figure will be reached by the end of this month. Of the six million, it is assumed that around half will have had the Coronavirus and the other half (that includes ‘risk groups’, like the elderly or immunosuppressed) will have been vaccinated.
A ‘route-map’ will also be worked on in the coming weeks, with more options for opening up leading in to the summer. If the general Coronavirus situation in the Netherlands keeps improving the Dutch government hopes to only have the ‘base rules’ of 1.5-metre distancing and hand washing in place during the high summer.
It is also being investigated whether students will be able to return to physical education using quick tests, in the coming months.
The leaked announcement comes as various Mayors across the Netherlands have asked to be able to open various leisure activities, such as café, bar, and restaurant terraces. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) must now assess the risks of this re-opening, and will then inform the Dutch cabinet of their findings. The next official press conference is to occur on April 13.
Minister Ferd Grapperhaus (CDA), who broke Coronavirus rules by holding a non-socially distanced wedding last year, consulted with the Veiligheidsberaad council of Mayors on Tuesday. After the meeting he reportedly confirmed that the government was working on a re-opening plan. “After April 20, we can take concrete steps”, says Grapperhaus.