The government wants young people to be able to meet physically again in the short term. That‘s what Secretary of State Blokhuis said at the end of the Council of Ministers. He wants municipalities to open up community centres, sports halls or, for example, libraries. The plan is part of a “welfare package” for groups most affected by the corona measures.
Blokhuis said that young people prefer to go back to school. “But as long as we can’t, we want to offer young people a different perspective in the short term.” According to him, at the moment there is not only a coronacrisis, but also a welfare crisis. “Young people have to sit at home, they can‘t go to school, so we’ve decided we have to do something.”
The Cabinet is expected to take a decision on the opening of secondary schools around February 23. Together with the abolition of curfew, this is a high priority item.
So far, however, things are not looking good, said Coronaminister De Jonge this morning: the contamination figures are not falling fast enough, and in the meantime a third wave is coming, so there is no idea of further easing the measures. It is therefore not yet certain that secondary schools will start again on Monday 1 March.
Because many young people now get depressive complaints due to the lockdown, it has now been decided that young people can meet each other physically in public buildings, subject to the coronare rules. That way, they have to keep a foot and a half. The municipalities can decide how they organise the ‘run-in’.
Mayor Halsema, together with others, has made an appeal to do more for young people who are heavily affected by the corona measures. The Cabinet agrees that this group is struggling. Blokhuis said that he had many digital encounters with young people who were sometimes emotionless. “They crave to see each other again.”
The plan is part of a larger welfare package, which has been allocated EUR 200 million. This is also intended for other groups such as elderly people who are suffering from loneliness or psychological complaints, homeless people and people who want to get rid of their coronakilos. The aim is to have listenings and lifestyle coaches, where people can come to.