The PM’s press conference announced a very gentle loosening of Coronavirus regulation
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the Omrop Fryslân, museums, theatres, cinemas; swimming pools, theme-parks, and zoos may all open again from Thursday. Dutch PM Mark Rutte did say that ‘horeca’ must stay shut, and asked Dutch residents not to celebrate the Sinterklaas holiday with their whole family, but in smaller groups. This has been supported by a raising of the maximum number of guest allowed in a house- from two to three.
Minister Hugo de Jonge also hinted at a further loosening of regulations for the Christmas period in mid-December, however this will only happen if Coronavirus infection numbers continue to fall.
“The numbers show that the regulations are working, or actually that our effort is working. The well-known ‘R’ number, the reproduction rate of the virus, has clearly fallen to under 1. Naturally we hope that this will fall further and faster, but in general the vast majority of Dutch residents have kept to the rules, however difficult that is”, said Rutte.
He did point out, though, that there are improvements to be made in both supermarkets and offices. Rutte also said that some shops have to enforce the regulations better once people are inside.
The new regulations will be reconsidered in two weeks, and are valued from Wednesday at midnight. That means that cinemas, museums, and other cultural institutions can open their doors from Thursday morning. Other regulations will remain in place as before: restaurants, cafés, and bars must stay closed, no alcohol can be sold after 20:00, and there are to be no public crowds at sporting events.
The Dutch governments travel advice remains the same: only leave the Netherlands if the trip is absolutely necessary.
Regarding testing, Rutte said that ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’, with extra work to be put into a wide-scale vaccination and testing programme. Minister de Jonge added that from December 1, anyone that has been in contact with someone suffering from the Coronavirus will be able to get tested- even if they show no symptoms.