All events for new students must have no alcohol and end at 22:00, though
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Yesterday evening Dutch PM Mark Rutte held a Coronavirus press conference. The last conference he held was on June 24, which announced a relaxation in Coronavirus regulations. As reported by the Dagblad van het Norden, Rutte said that it is ‘concerning’ that more and more Dutch residents are no longer maintaining social distancing and hygiene measures. He specifically pointed to younger people’s flouting of the regulations, and presented a new strengthening of regulations on bars, cafés and restaurants.
Introduction weeks for students have been allowed to go ahead, however with the regulation that every event must finish at 22:00, and no alcohol is to be served. It’s taken a global pandemic, but the Dutch government has also finally banned ‘hazing’ rituals- responsible for several student deaths over the years.
The relaxation of rules in cafés, restaurants, and bars have been reversed. Anyone going must now provide full contact details, and if a local GGD health authority deems it necessary any hospitality outlet can be closed for up to 14 days.
Though most Dutch people are staying in the Netherlands for their holidays, Rutte announced a new testing policy at Schiphol airport. Any person coming from an ‘orange’ or higher risk zone will be offered tests, but are not compelled to take one. Those flying in from risk zones must also quarantine upon arrival back.
Rutte was keen to say that a second lockdown was unlikely unless people continued to flout public health regulations. It’s not just young people, either, with the Dutch PM also saying that large family gatherings have contributed to a rise in infections- as anyone that has seen middle-aged family members organising huge ‘get-togethers’ can attest. “Don’t just think: I can happily sit shoulder-to-shoulder on the sofa with grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews”, he said.
Perhaps covering up for his own government’s overly-relaxed attitude to the outbreak, Rutte decided to attack young people in his conference: “you’re not just responsible for yourself, but also for others”. Rutte then laid out two options for strengthened rules: shutting all bars, cafés, night-shops; and restaurants at midnight, and stopping football supporters from attending training sessions and matches. He pointed specifically to chanting Feyenoord supporters as being a localised virus-spreading threat in Rotterdam.
A much vaunted (and heavily-delayed) public health app will be tested in Drenthe, and the Twente region, from August 17.
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