Rutte press conference – Higher education open no more than one and a half meters from mid-September

Outgoing Prime Minister Rutte and healthcare minister Hugo de Jonge confirmed in a press conference that the one and a half meter measure will be released from mid-September. In addition, the cabinet confirmed that MBOs and higher education will indeed reopen from August 30, but subject to a number of conditions. The government aims to be able to let go of all measures by 1 November.

Additional measures do apply. For example, a maximum of 75 students may sit in a lecture hall. That upper limit should ensure that if there are infected students in the room, there is not immediately a very large group at risk of being infected with the corona virus.

Until September 19, students must wear a mask in the hallways and have themselves tested twice a week. Students no longer have to keep their distance from each other.

Secondary schools still have to use the mouth cap obligation and one and a half meters. This is necessary because a large proportion of teenagers have not yet been fully vaccinated.

Goodbye one and a half meters

According to outgoing Prime Minister Rutte, the OMT has designated September 20 as a possible date to say goodbye to the one and a half meter measure “step by step”. It will also be examined whether the mouth mask obligation and the home work advice will be cancelled. According to the Prime Minister, it remains important that people still get tested, continue to wash hands and keep their distance where possible.

Further relaxations were not made on Friday evening. This means that, among other things, the ban on multi-day festivals with camping will remain in force for the time being. The restrictions on the catering industry and nightlife also continue to apply. On Friday 17 September, the cabinet will again examine whether this is possible. However, they can count on financial support, the prime minister said. In the current roadmap, the nightclubs will be allowed to open again on November 1, provided the contamination figures allow this at that time.

For sports competitions, conferences, cinemas and other events where many people gather, a maximum of 75 guests may be allowed without a ticket. Above that, one must be able to show a test certificate, a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate to enter.

No plan B

During the press conference at the beginning of July it became clear that dancing in discotheques, party bars and nightclubs was over for the time being. Then it was announced that the catering industry had to close its doors again at midnight and guests had to have a permanent seat. This is due to the rising corona figures, partly due to the delta variant of the virus. “That was quite a learning moment,” the prime minister said during the press conference. The measures were initially supposed to last until August 14, but were extended on Friday evening.

The chairman of the board of Hogeschool Rotterdam announced on Friday morning that he was very happy with the opening of higher education. “If it turned out during the cabinet press conference that we couldn’t open, we would really have had a problem,” says chairman Ron Bormans. “We didn’t have a plan B.”

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