With the Dutch government unable to get a grip on a worsening Coronavirus situation in the Netherlands, further tightening of measures loom
Translated by Adriana Dancu
‘Insiders from The Hague’ have reportedly told the Dagblad van het Noorden that in a debate about the Dutch government’s vaccination policy, Prime Minister Rutte hinted that there is little chance that the Cabinet will open the Netherlands on January 19. Rutte is allegedly “not happy” about the latest infection figures in the Netherlands. The outcome of this may lead to a further tightening of measures being announced on January 19, including further shop closures and the shutting of hotels for recreational visits.
Germany is also on the verge of extending its own lockdown until at least the end of January. Anyone living in a badly affected region will soon not be allowed to travel more than 15 kilometers from home. The Dutch cabinet, lacking any leadership of its own, is looking at Germany with interest regarding the new measures, although Dutch politicians are reportedly considering a number of options.
Currently, all shops that sell food can remain open, “while they are not all essential,” says one person concerned.
PM Mark Rutte, and the Coronavirus Minister Hugo de Jonge will officially decide on Tuesday, January 12, whether the Netherlands will remain locked down for longer. “We will just assume an extension,” said one source.
Hospitality and schools
This means that not only the hospitality industry, but also all non-essential stores will remain closed for longer. What it means for schools is still an open question. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) is currently studying how the highly contagious British virus mutation spreads amongst children. If it turns out that this variant does indeed spread faster among children, then schools will remain closed, a source of the Cabinet reports.
Rutte alludes to an extension of the lockdown
The pressure on healthcare, which is currently high, is particularly important for extending the lockdown. The Cabinet has previously indicated that it only wants to consider alleviation again if no more than 10 Coronavirus patients end up in Intensive Care every day. Now there are more than fifteen.
Prime Minister Rutte is already tempering expectations: “I am not very hopeful about what will be possible after January 19”, he said.