The curfew will remain in effect for at least the full month of March. Relaxation is only possible if the epidemological situation permits. The Catshuis consultation that took place today has not led to the green light for relaxation of the corona policy.
On Monday, the cabinet will make a final decision and a press conference will follow between Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Corona Minister Hugo de Jonge.
Three major subjects are on the table in the Catshuis about which relaxation can be envisaged in the medium term. Higher education can partly become accessible to students again. The outdoor terraces could open again around the first weekend of April at Easter. And retail could be given more leeway.
But for all three subjects, the corona numbers should look better.
‘Flexible and precise’
There are two currents opposite each other. The flexible who see space and the precise who point to the numbers and hang on the brake.
The Ministerial Committee Covid-19 (MCC) also met on Friday. The more flexible see room for relaxation because the figures are slightly better. They would like students in higher education to return to the lecture halls for a few days a week and for the museums, for example, to be able to reopen.
Precursors do not think the figures are favorable at all and are using today’s figures – 5,378 new infections – to keep up the pressure. Moreover, the hospital occupancy may be stable, but it is also high. They hope that a more favorable climate will gradually emerge due to the rising vaccination numbers.
Catering industry allowance not an option
A compensation for the catering industry by opening terraces does not seem an option at all for Easter. One person concerned says: “Look what happens when the weather is nice. Then they huddle on top of each other in the park and on a terrace they can keep a meter and a half. ” But the weather conditions are not looking good for the time being.
There is no real discussion about curfews. It expires next Monday and becomes as Minister Grapperhaus said on Friday after the MCC, probably extended. The reopening of gyms also seems a bridge too far. Small relaxation options are the swimming lessons for children and more sports options for adults. The easing may not take effect until the end of March.