‘Demissionaire’ PM Mark Rutte announces opening of primary schools and daycare from February 8, whilst shops may now open for pick-ups
By Thomas Ansell
Outgoing Dutch PM Mark Rutte gave another Coronavirus press conference yesterday evening, announcing a series of small tweaks to the current lockdown, whilst also saying that the lockdown would continue until ‘at least’ March 2. As reported by the NOS.
Shops may open for ‘click-and-collect’ time slots, but Rutte warned against people thinking this signaled a return of shopping “for fun”. Primary schools and daycare centres may also open from February 8, but everything else is remaining closed including cultural institutions, sports centres, and non-essential shops.
Rutte said that the Netherlands was entering a “fast-paced and uncertain” period, with the British variant of the Coronavirus now responsible for a large proportion of infections in the country. Therefore, the current lockdown is almost certain to be extended to March 2, with the current curfew possibly being extended past the current February 10 deadline. This is pending OMT (Outbreak Management Team) advice; with a member of the OMT yesterday saying that is was unlikely they would suggest ending the curfew.
Outgoing Health Secretary Hugo de Jonge announced a “route card“, subject to constant change, that will guide the Dutch government’s policy direction for the coming weeks. The document has four tiers (naturally the entire country is in Tier 4 at the moment), with differing regulations for home visitors, horeca, sports; cultural institions, and so on.