Optimistic cabinet presents eases with ‘pause’ button

The announced easing of the coronavirus rules will continue next week, but the figures from the hospitals will have to continue to fall. “That‘s why it’s easing with a pause button,” said demissionary Prime Minister Rutte at the corona press conference.

If the inflow of coronapatics into the hospitals falls by twenty percent, the pause button does not need to be pressed, Rutte explained. “We don‘t look at a percentage more or less, as long as the direction is right.” Next Monday the knot will be finally cut. And then the eases can start on Wednesday 19 May.

Rutte doesn’t think it‘s so likely that the cabinet will have to press the pause button. It is expected that the 20% decline will be achieved in the course of this week:

But there are no guarantees. The Prime Minister pointed to the crowds on King’s Day. In Amsterdam alone, there were 17 virus clusters of dozens of infected people who could infect others. “Then it can go fast,” said Rutte.

It‘s a dilemma for the Cabinet. “We want nothing more than to give people more space, but at the same time we don’t want to make mistakes just before the finish line.”

But if everything goes well, the gyms and indoor pools will open again next Wednesday. The terraces may therefore be open longer, from 6am to 8pm.

Amusement parks and zoos are welcome again, but the indoor attractions remain close. Rutte: “For the Efteling this means the Python, but not the Droomvlucht.”

PVV leader Wilders is not happy with that, as he said during the press conference. The Droomvlucht is his favourite attraction on the Efteling:

No later than 25 May, the government wants to make a decision on the reopening of secondary schools completely and the abandonment of the other half meter rule in the corridor. The OMT is investigating whether that is justified. If so, the frequent online teaching can end at the end of May.

Very nice summer

Minister De Jonge mainly dealt with opportunities to go abroad on holiday again. From next Saturday, the overall negative travel advice is no longer valid and countries can be turned yellow again. That means vacations are allowed, but people have to pay attention.

At first, not many countries will open, but De Jonge is “cautiously optimistic” about the time after that. He thinks it is possible to go on holiday to countries such as France, Italy and Spain, but he cannot give guarantees. “It could be a very beautiful summer. In Europe, the number of vaccinees is increasing and the number of infections is falling. With this, more and more countries can become a destination.”

But already books remain at your own risk, warned the minister. The travel advice for a country can change again. De Jonge: “So we can go abroad on holiday again, but that is not completely carefree.”