With declining figures, gyms and zoos will open May 18
Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, outgoing Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) and other cabinet members talked Sunday afternoon with RIVM director Jaap van Dissel about the latest corona figures. They were together from 2 pm to 5 pm. Step 2 of the opening plan was on the agenda in the Catshuis. According to this step – which was already postponed by a week last week – the transfer locations could be reopened on 18 May. It would also allow for more sporting activities and music and drama lessons can be given under certain conditions.
The cabinet intends to allow the relaxation to continue, according to sources from The Hague. Van Dissel would be ‘moderately positive’ about the most recent corona figures. In a new press conference on Tuesday evening, Rutte and De Jonge want to announce that step 2 will in principle continue on May 18. But there is a hard condition: the number of infections and hospital admissions must continue to decrease in the coming week. If the figures do not fall hard enough, an ’emergency brake’ can be pulled before the weekend to cancel the easing.
The cabinet is also considering extending the terrace times for the catering industry somewhat. Now terraces are allowed to be open from 12:00 to 18:00. That may be brought forward to 10 a.m. “So that people can also drink a cappuccino on the terrace in the morning. And it is possible that the terraces may also remain open a little longer in the evening. But that will be discussed in the coming days. ”
The omens were not good, according to sources from The Hague prior to the Catshuisberaad. Although hospital figures show cautious improvement, the number of new patients in the nursing wards and ICUs has not yet fallen by 20 percent on a weekly basis. And that was previously a condition of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) for further relaxation. The OMT now seems to think differently about this.
232 new patients are now admitted to the nursing wards every day, 11 percent less than a week ago. The number of new admissions on the ICs also fell by 11 percent, to an average of 41 per day over the past week. Incidentally, the number of infections starts to rise again after a period of decline. That is 13 percent higher than a week ago.
Last month, the cabinet decided to open the terraces and to abolish the curfew, while the OMT advised against it. Last week, the cabinet did listen to the OMT and step 2 was postponed. The Catshuisberaad was canceled then, as did the press conference. “We see that the numbers are over the peak, but the decline is not yet visible enough to be able to take the next step of the opening plan responsibly,” said an RVD spokesperson at the time.
In the Catshuis this afternoon the cabinet also discussed the advice for the summer holidays. Vacation travel is currently not allowed. Minister De Jonge said last week that it is better to hold off on booking. “It’s certainly good to have a look at all kinds of sites,” he said. “Find out your campsite in advance, I would say. But to actually book, it is wise to wait for the travel advice. We will give that on Tuesday. ” Probably from mid-May the travel advice for some destinations can go to ‘yellow’. All destinations are now still set to ‘orange’. This means that it will soon be possible again to go on holiday to a number of countries – where the corona situation is favorable.