Children at schools will have to abide by the 1.5-metre regulation too, says PM Mark Rutte in press conference
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Following 5 weeks of near total lockdown in the Netherlands, PM Mark Rutte again addressed the nation last night. In line with expectations, the Dutch premier confirmed that the national lockdown will last until February 9 due to continuous high Coronavirus case numbers in the Netherlands. As reported by the DvhN.
The new British variant of the Coronavirus, which is thought to be significantly more infectious, is another concern for the Dutch government. Rutte said that the lockdown won’t be lifted or lessened until more knowledge about the British mutation has been gained, and that at the moment there are only between 2 and 5 cases in the Netherlands. Minister De Jonge of health said that the British mutation could quickly spread across the country if left unchecked.
A new support package for businesses will shortly be unveiled, too. Any children that are still attending school in the Netherlands (the children of key workers) will now have to abide by the 1.5-metre social distancing regulation; whilst the Dutch cabinet is investigating whether child care centra and primary schools can be opened from January 25. This is, again, dependent on how the British mutation spreads amongst children.
As reported yesterday by shadowy ‘Hague sources’, a curfew could be imposed to prevent groups of young people coagulating and spreading the virus. The Outbreak Management Team is currently preparing its advice on a curfew, which is likely to be finished this weekend.
In any case the Dutch government is requesting that all Dutch residents continue to stay at home and not travel to other countries until at least March. According to Rutte there are still too many people travelling from the Netherlands to holiday destinations.
The maximum group size outdoors is to remain at 2 people, whilst people in the Netherlands may still receive 2 guests per day at home.
Minister De Jonge added that should new case numbers fall under 3,600 per day nationally, with new Intensive Care admissions kept to about 10 per day, the Dutch government would consider relaxing the rules. Yesterday 4,986 new cases were recorded across the Netherlands, with 32 new Intensive Care admissions.
PM Rutte also said that at the moment the Coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t affect the Dutch elections on March 17.