Prime minister: ‘Better safe than sorry’
Most Dutch corona measures prolonged until May 20
Restaurants and hairdressers will stay closed, but elementary schools and day-care facilities will reopen on May 11, after the May holidays. Secondary schools are expected to follow in June.
The Dutch government has decided to reopen the schools for children up to and including the age of 12, since research has shown that child to parent transmission of the coronavirus is limited. Letting children return to school, possibly in rotating shifts, will also relieve pressure on parents working from home.
All large-scale events, such as festivals and professional football, have been cancelled until September 1.
Fewer ICU patients
Despite the significant and consistent drop in the number of patients in intensive care units, the government has decided that most of the measures will stay in effect. ‘It’s best to be as safe as possible now, to avoid being sorry later’, said Rutte.
On Tuesday, a total number of 1,087 patients were in ICUs across the country, which is below the bar of 1,150, excluding emergency capacity.
Rutte called on all 17 million citizens to work from home as much as possible, to only go outside for groceries or working out by yourself, and to keep a distance of 1.5 metres from others. Anyone going outside with three or more people without respecting the 1.5-metre rule can still be fined.
The Dutch government doesn’t expect any changes to the summer vacation schedule for primary and secondary education. They have not stated anything concerning higher education such as universities and vocational programmes. Nor did they mention anything about the borders and travel possibilities.
What these measures will mean for the university is unclear. The UG has already cancelled all physical education until August 31.
The situation in the Netherlands will be assessed on a rolling basis, and the government will announce any new steps in the week before May 20.