There should be no morration of the corona measures that have been in place since last weekend. This was what the missionary Prime Minister Rutte argued in a debate with the House of Representatives.
In the debate about the recently taken measures, several parties asked for an exception to the evening lockdown for amateur sports. D66, CDA, SP, Think, GroenLinks and JA21 wonder how effective that measure actually is. They also see major drawbacks in the fact that many children and adults are now sitting at home instead of moving.
Well, hamburgers, dont exercise
“You can all eat a hamburger in the afternoon, but in the evening you cant go to the sports field with that same group,” said D66 MP Paternotte. “Is sports part of the problem or part of the solution to this pandemic?” , asked Think MP Kuzu.
But Rutte believes that the package of measures should remain as it is. “An exception again means extra movements of large groups of people. I find it really unwise to alleviate the package, because we are in a serious crisis.” Rutte did say that, should there be room, sports are at the forefront of the easing.
Effect per measure
Part of the House of Representatives was frustrated by the cabinet being unable to indicate how effective certain measures actually are. “What is the effect of closing stores earlier? What would the effect be if you are allowed to exercise longer?” , said GroenLinks MP Westerveld. “We make far-reaching decisions and we have no idea of many measures whether they work.”
SP MP Hijink proposed that from now on the Outbreak Management Team show what the effect is for each measure, so that the Chamber can adjust the corona policy in a more targeted manner. But according to Rutte, thats impossible. “The OMT is not able to calculate exactly what measure does with the reproduction number.”
He pointed out that, according to the RIVM, the entire package of measures leads to a decrease in the number of contact points by 25 to 35 percent. That should be enough to get the R number below 1.
GroenLinks MP Westerveld listed which corona measures have been in effect in recent times for outdoor sports:
There are concerns in the Chamber that, meanwhile, more and more patients with serious illnesses have to wait for their treatment or surgery. MPs said they were addressed by doctors and patients with harrowing examples.
“The situation is serious,” said Bikker from the Christian Union. “We all know someone in our area who needs surgery and who has to wait.” PvdA MP Kuiken: “For these people, its actually already code black.” According to her, this situation is the result of cabinet policy. “Does the cabinet feel responsible for this?”
Several parties criticized the slow start giving booster pricks. Jaap van Dissel from the RIVM said in his briefing in the Chamber this morning that earlier booster pricks could have prevented hospital admissions.
“I love it too,” said Rutte. But, according to him, it does not mean “that the cabinet has been snoring”. He referred to the Health Council who “only” gave the advice in early November to start pricking extra. “It is not possible that we will start without advice from the council.”
Minister De Jonge of Health announced in the debate that boosting will be faster in the coming period. This week, 200,000 over 60s are expected to be vaccinated by the GGD, 350,000 next week and 700,000 weeks after that. The aim is that “as much as possible of the elderly and healthcare workers” will receive a booster vaccination this year.
Early Christmas Holidays
The cabinet also addressed the idea to start the Christmas holidays in primary and secondary education a week earlier. According to Minister of Education Slob, that is not necessary at the moment. “Is it completely off the table then? You cant really say that of anything.”
Several groups had asked if early is an option because there are many infections among pupils and teachers. Due to the high number of infections, some schools have already decided to close temporarily themselves. “Its only about schools where its really not possible to teach properly and safely physically,” Slob said about that.