The Cabinet is going to take a little more risk with the coronavirus in the coming months, but how that will go is very exciting. This is what Prime Minister Rutte said at the press conference where he announced a number of minor eases. They come at the moment when the infections are recovering and, according to experts, a third wave is coming.
“ But there is also another reality,” said Rutte. “The longer the crisis lasts, the heavier it falls to us. Were getting pretty tired of it. It has to be sustaining, and that is why we are now entering a phase where we are prepared to take a little more risks.”
Minister De Jonge compared it to running a marathon. “What were doing now is giving a little more oxygen to keep it up.”
Prime Minister Rutte explains why the Cabinet opts for small eases:
In secondary education and MBO, students can go to school again at least one day a week from next Monday. Furthermore, the contact professions such as hairdressers and beauticians can return to work on Wednesday 3 March. Customers must make a reservation and a check call must take place in advance to ensure that the customer does not have any complaints.
According to Rutte, this relaxation is important for entrepreneurs and the well-being of customers. He also thinks its safe, because in a controlled environment its about 1 in 1 contacts that dont take place daily.
Starting next week, it will also be possible to shop by appointment in non-essential shops. Customers must make a reservation at least four hours in advance and up to two customers per floor can be present. Time slots of 10 minutes are also used. That should give the smaller retailers some air.
Rutte realises that such a scheme does not provide any relief for the chain store company. The Cabinet is in consultation with this sector on an aid scheme.
In addition, outdoor sports as a team will be allowed again for everyone up to 27 years old. “This is important for a group that is already struggling,” said Rutte.
Rutte: appointment with every Dutchman
The simplifications are, according to the Prime Minister, not free and irreversible. If the numbers rise quickly again, they can be reversed. Therefore, he once again appealed to everyone to adhere to the basic rules, such as keeping 1.5 meters away and washing a lot of hands.
“ I want to make an appointment with every Dutchman: taking extra risk is only possible if we adhere to the basic rules extra well. Your behavior matters.”
The whole package presented by the Cabinet tonight runs until Monday 15 March. Curfew will also be extended until that date. On 8 March the Cabinet will hold a new press conference on the period after 15 March.
“ Then of course you hope that the curfew is no longer necessary,” said Rutte. Should they still be needed, there will be an exceptional situation during the election days 15, 16 and 17 March. People who have to be on the street after 9 p.m. for voting or working in a polling station will not be fined.