Mayors urge same closing time for everyone ahead of Covid press conferences
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Coronavirus Minister Ernst Kuipers will announce the relaxation of some coronavirus measures at a press conference on Tuesday evening. The cultural sector can reopen under certain conditions, as can restaurants and bars. Events will again be possible under strict conditions. The mayors of the Security Council have urged the Cabinet to set the same closing time for all sectors. “Use only once. It makes communication clear and easier,” said President Hubert Bruls, Mayor of Nijmegen.
Cabinet will make the final decision on easing measures on Tuesday, but Rutte already said last week that he was optimistic restrictions could be eased.
For the first time, the Cabinet also published the opinion of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT). The UNWTO only wanted businesses to remain open until 8 p.m., but it appears the Cabinet has opted for a 10 p.m. closing time. UNWTO also advised to allow spectators at sports matches.
Mayors on the Security Council have advised the government to stick to a closing time. Because a time is the easiest to enforce, the mayors concluded. Bruls did not specify the closing time suggested by the mayors. The longer you stay open, the greater the risk of infection, he said after the Security Council meeting with Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz in Utrecht on Monday evening. “We have to accept that more people are going to get sick.”
This is also happening in neighboring countries where most restrictions have been removed. The pressure on the health sector is also greater. Nevertheless, according to Minister Yeşilgöz, the Netherlands cannot be individually compared with other countries because other regulations like the 2G coronavirus access policy apply there. This is why the 25 security regions recommend coordinating the policy with the surrounding countries. “It is good to align measures with neighboring countries,” Bruls said.
The UNWTO also said that children up to the age of 12 no longer have to self-quarantine if they do not show symptoms of Covid-19. They are advised to do a daily self-test if they have been in contact with someone infected with the virus. If this is not possible, the GGD or the doctor can always recommend quarantine.
Quarantine rules are in the spotlight because the number of Covid-19 infections is rising so rapidly. If too many people have to stay at home due to infection or close contact with an infected person, sectors are likely to be in trouble. Employers’ organizations VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland have asked the Cabinet to ease the rules for workers, warning that “half of the Netherlands will soon be sitting down without complaining”.
The high number of infections also causes problems in the test line. The GGDs have reached the limit of their testing capacity, the umbrella organization said on Monday.