No relaxation of the corona rules for the time being, possibly only at the beginning of June
The cabinet sees no room to relax the corona measures now, say sources from The Hague. The contamination figures are still too high for that. On Sunday, the most involved ministers met at the Catshuis.
It is also unlikely that the cabinet will make rules stricter. In other countries that will probably happen. Parts of France have recently been in a stricter lockdown again due to rising numbers. The extension of the lockdown in the Netherlands will be discussed further tomorrow and Tuesday within the cabinet and with mayors. Something may be fine-tuned to the total package of measures, but that chance is small, according to insiders. “The figures are just too bad,” says a source from The Hague.
The ministers present at the Catshuis seemed to collectively agree on this quite quickly today. The meeting ended at 4 pm. That was a lot earlier than expected: the meeting was scheduled until about 6 p.m. Measures that were on the table included the abolition of the curfew, the partial reopening of higher education, the opening of terraces around Easter and more space for the retail trade. Sources emphasize that there is more perspective in the longer term. That could possibly be mid-May or early June, according to insiders.
Earlier, De Jonge said that more was possible for these points at the end of this month, provided the corona figures allow it. But the infection figures have been above 7000 for several days and the ‘reproduction number’ is also too high. One hundred infected people now light an average of 113 others. Young people in particular become infected. They do not quickly become seriously ill from corona, but there is a fear that they will infect more vulnerable people.
See multiple OMT members no room for relaxation for the time being of corona measures, it was announced earlier on Sunday. Virologist Menno de Jong told AT5 on Sunday morning that it was unwise to relax further. Opening terraces would be “a bridge too far”. Virologist Marion Koopmans said something similar in NOS Met het Oog op Morgen. “I don’t think we can afford that, if at all. We really have to be patient. It’s been a month or two, then we really are in a different situation. ”
The political call for relaxation has been getting louder in recent days. D66 leader Sigrid Kaag said that the curfew must “be removed very quickly”, because it would no longer be tenable when summer time starts. That will happen next weekend. Her party colleague Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Education) expressed optimism that students from universities of applied sciences and universities will be able to study on location one day a week again.