The demissionary cabinet would love to announce tonight that the shops can reopen, everyone can go back to the gym or the pub, or visit a theater or cinema. The cabinet understands “very well” that people craves more air and space. But there are still no such simplifications, as the demissionary ministers made it clear yesterday after consultation on the Turentje.
It is for the demissionary cabinet to go between looking at how to create a little more air and space and keep an eye on the consequences that can have for medical care and public health. In doing so, the cabinet wants to show that it listens to the call for easing, but will also stress that space is limited. The fear of a third wave is still fully present.
Small easing, thats what it will be about tonight, with the emphasis on small. The Cabinet will probably emphasize something more space comes by sticking to the curfew. Furthermore, insiders confirmed on Sunday that the intention is to give secondary schools and MBOs more opportunities to teach physically and to allow hairdressers to receive customers under strict conditions. There has also been thought about opening stores for appointments in time periods.
It is still being examined whether other contact professions are allowed to return to work in addition to hairdressers. And young adults may also get more opportunities to play sports.
Not on Election Day
Against these small easings there is therefore an extension of the curfew. The cabinet would prefer to hold it for another three weeks, but that means that it will also apply on election day, 17 March. Normally the ballot boxes are open until 21:00 and counted afterwards. It may be that the Cabinet announces tonight that curfew will not apply on election night.
Those elections are starting to play an increasingly important role in decision-making, says political reporter Xander van der Wulp. “The Cabinet has a little bit of it in his stomach.” Ministers want to prevent people from thinking that their decisions are motivated by the election campaign.
Demissionary minister De Jonge acknowledged yesterday that “the rack is a bit out” and that the cabinet is looking for what can be done again. But De Jonge also pointed to the dilemma that The Hague faces, because the contamination figures are not yet good.
Foreign Minister Grapperhaus also said the call for greater freedoms to be understood. “But the horrible thing is that we cant say that the virus and all the mutants have been conquered.”
Look here how ministers Grapperhaus and De Jonge said it yesterday:
The press conference of Prime Minister Rutte and Minister De Jonge will be held at 7pm tonight and can be followed live on NPO 1, NPO News, NPO Start, a livestream OPCEIT.nl and Decceit app, NPO Radio 1 and the Facebook page and YouTube channel of DeccEit.