Corona measures extended and may soon follow more

The peak of the delta wave is now behind us, according to the numbers, but we need to brace ourselves for an upcoming omikron wave. This is what outgoing Prime Minister Rutte and outgoing minister De Jonge of VWS said at the corona press conference. โ€œWe are seriously concerned,โ€ said De Jonge.

The current package of measures, such as the evening lockdown, will be extended until 14 January. โ€œBut it may well be that there will be a new weighing moment earlier, because there is cause for concern,โ€ Rutte said. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) will come up with new advice at the end of this week, and it may be that additional measures will already be announced next week.

โ€œIn this Christmas season, of course, that‘s not the happy message you’re hoping for,โ€ Rutte said, but according to him, it is inevitable to observe the rules during the holiday season.

Especially at Christmas, we need to be extra careful:

โ€œWhen visiting grandpa and grandma, keep the measures extra well. Try to avoid contact between children and over 70‘s as much as possible. So don’t cuddle with the grandchildren under the Christmas tree.โ€ People 70 years and older come to the hospital much more often when they contract corona.

Primary schools are closing a week earlier, leaked out today. According to Rutte, โ€œvery intensive and difficult conversationsโ€ were held in the cabinet. It may lead to learning delays again and it is nothing short of trouble for parents. โ€œBut we couldn‘t ignore the signal about the omikron wave.โ€

At the moment, the omikron variant causes approximately 1 percent of the infections in the Netherlands. โ€œThat seems little, but it’s going to rise very quickly,โ€ said De Jonge. For example, in Amsterdam, 3 percent of the infections caused by omikron are already. Much is not known about the new variant yet, but it is certain that it is much more contagious than the current variants of the virus.

At the end of January, every adult

According to the cabinet, the looming new wave is a good reason to further accelerate the booster campaign. In more than a month, in the second half of January, everyone 18 years and older must be able to get a booster shot. According to the ministry, it is about 8.5 million people.

At the end of next week, all over 45 people have already been invited to a booster shot, promised De Jonge. The rule that everyone gets a booster in the seventh month after the last shot is released. From now on, the goal is to give everyone such a jab like that after three months.

De Jonge about the booster campaign:

The minister understands people who wonder how long this will take. โ€œHow long will we go from variant to variant, from lockdown to lockdown? These are legitimate questions, which are not an unambiguous answer to.โ€

The new cabinet will look at the approach to the pandemic in order to come to a way in which we no longer fight the virus, but learn to live with it. โ€œSuch a long-term vision is desperately needed. Because no one wants to live with the brakes on it,โ€ said De Jonge.