The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) advises the government not to open primary schools and childcare services as early as 25 January. Initiates report that the Cabinet intends to adopt this opinion. It is expected that this will be discussed in the Catshuis on Sunday.
Friday morning, the OMT talks about the longer closure of the schools, says doctor-microbiologist Marc Bonten of the UMC Utrecht, one of the permanently invited experts of the OMT. “Its about the overall picture,” explains Bonten. “That at the moment there is still incredibly little room for manoeuvre in the contamination figures, and it is not yet known how widespread the more contagious British variant is in the Netherlands.”
Especially this British variant ensures a pass on the place, says Bonten. “No relaxation until we have everything in the picture. This also has to do with the fact that it seems that this variant is also spreading among children. Not as much as among adults, but certainly also.” And the consideration also adds that reopening schools would mean more travel movements of adults, to and from schools.
The cabinet announced early this week an extension of the lockdown until 9 February, but hoped to open the childcare centres and primary schools earlier. For this purpose, an opinion was asked to the OMT. Now that turns out negative.