Rutte speaks to young people: ‘As soon as possible, secondary schools have to open again’

What is being done for young people who feel lonely? When do we get more freedom? Are the exams going on or off? These are questions that young people are struggling with, as they are increasingly being afflicted by the corona measures. Demissionary Prime Minister Rutte tries to answer some of these questions during an Instagram live session.

โ€œ I understand the question and I also hope that it can be done as soon as possible,โ€ says the Prime Minister when young people can expect freedom again. โ€œThe reason that this is not possible yet is that we are dealing with the English virus, which seems to be a lot more contagious. As a result, it is simply not possible to relax very much at the moment.โ€

He promises high schools are the first priority. โ€œAs soon as possible, they must open again. And then well look at what can be wider.โ€

Lonely young people

Some young people ask Rutte what the Cabinet does for lonely peers. โ€œI understand that question, and there is no magic wand for that,โ€ said the Prime Minister. He points out the EUR 60 million aid package that the Cabinet set out in December so that municipalities can do more for lonely young people. โ€œMoney is not the problem,โ€ says the Prime Minister. โ€œMunicipalities thus put together their own package of aid.โ€ He also points to listenings and campaigns where young people can go, such as suicide prevention line 113 and the line of Stichting Korrelatie.

Some young people ask the Prime Minister whether it is not possible to impose fewer rules on non-risk groups. The answer is no. โ€œIt is true that as a young person you have less chance of getting into intensive care,โ€ says Rutte. โ€œBut youre still contagious and its not possible to shield vulnerable groups.โ€

Exams

Young people also want clarity about the exams. Are they going on now or not? Rutte emphasises that, unlike other high school students, graduation students are allowed to go to school. โ€œThat exception is not for nothing.โ€ According to him, everything is aimed at allowing the exams to go through. โ€œBut it has to be responsible.โ€

Next Tuesday, the Cabinet will talk about a broad plan for education, the so-called National Education Programme and Corona, he tells the young people. It also has to decide what happens, for example, with the tuition fees paid by students this year. โ€œWe spend a lot of money – rightly so – on entrepreneurs to drag them to the end of the crisis, but thats what we want to do for young people.โ€

Festivals

Participating youngsters also fear the fate of the festival summer. โ€œWhat are the chances of me being at Mysteryland in August,โ€ someone asks, for example.

โ€œ We all hope so,โ€ says Rutte. According to him, vaccination is now only hampered by the number of vaccines available, but according to the Prime Minister this will soon be boosted. He also believes that the combination of measures and targeted testing policies will, in the long run, lead to more room for society. โ€œI cant guarantee it, but we sincerely hope so.โ€