Though never an official government date, many people had been expecting shops and pub terraces to open after April 20
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The Dutch government yesterday announced that there would be no changes to the current Coronavirus regulations until at least April 28, contradicting an earlier suggestion that the changes would occur earlier (via the NOS). A press spokesperson made the announcement after the Dutch cabinet’s Coronavirus meeting at the Catshuys in the Hague.
Plans still remain in place to scrap the curfew, open shops, and allow outdoor hospitality to open from April 28, if Coronavirus infections continue to fall. Minister Hugo De Jonge (CDA), of Health, began tempering expectations from last week, saying that “we’re in sight of the harbour [and will therefore] not do anything stupid”.
Further details are likely to be announced in tomorrow’s Coronavirus press conference.
The Mayors of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam; and the Hague have jointly announced their ‘surprise’ at the changes to plans, saying: “in more populated areas, residents really need more access to the outdoors.”
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (PvdA) of Rotterdam explained: “it isn’t tenable that people can get a blanket and a bottle of rosé and sit outside the Hotel New York on the grass whilst the hospitality outets cannot open their terraces.” The Mayors also pointed to the difficulties of enforcing Coronavirus regulations around group size and social distancing now that the plans have been rolled back.
According to the Dutch government’s Coronavirus figures, there were 8,288 new infections yesterday (up 588 on the day before), the highest figure in two weeks. Meanwhile in the North, infections fell in Groningen to 114 yesterday, Friesland saw 182 new infections (also down on the day before), and Drenthe saw a small rise to 143 new infections.