The demissionary cabinet does not think it wise to open the terraces under conditions at this time, but in the coming time the cabinet wants to look at them again. This is what Prime Minister Rutte said in the Chamber‘s debate on the small eases announced yesterday by the Cabinet.
In that package there are no simplifications for the hospitality industry. Entrepreneurs in that sector should still only be open for pickup or orders. CDA group chairman Pieter Heerma saw last weekend that it became very busy at beach entrances and pick-up points. “People sat close to each other on walls waiting for them to turn.”
“ Isn’t it safer and better to regulate when the terraces are allowed to open again?” , Heerma wondered. A majority agrees with him. According to Prime Minister Rutte, this is not sensible at the moment, because open terraces have a suction effect, which can make it too busy. But he promised that the Cabinet will look into it in the run-up to the next press conference, scheduled for March 8.
Look what Rutte said about opening terraces:
chairman of the VVD group, Klaas Dijkhoff, also wants the cabinet to investigate what might be possible for the hospitality industry, because that sector is “hit hard” by the crisis. He also asked for additional support for hospitality entrepreneurs.
As far as PVV leader Geert Wilders is concerned, the terraces will open again immediately. “Friend and foe agree that outside the risk of infection is virtually nil.” According to him, catering entrepreneurs have long established protocols that make it possible to reopen safely.
Wilders spoke of a failing approach by the Cabinet. “As the elections are approaching and the VVD drops in the polls, they act as if we are regaining our freedom. But that is misleading.” The relaxations, according to him, are only “a few crumbs”.
Other opposition parties also denounced the government‘s policy which they see as wandering. “The arbitrariness reigns,” said Pvda leader Lilianne Ploumen. “The massage parlors open again, but the universities remain closed.” The Green Left and government parties D66 and ChristianUnion also wondered whether the simplifications that will apply next week to secondary education and MBO could also come into force in higher education.
But according to Prime Minister Rutte, there is no room for that at the moment. He pointed out that with the partial reopening of secondary schools, the Cabinet is already taking a risk. He believes that universities and colleges in themselves are able to organize coronaproof education. But that also leads to more travel movements, with all the consequences, said Rutte.
A majority of the Chamber accepts the extension of the curfew until March 15, but understands that people are angry about it. “The Prime Minister first said it was a bad measure, which would be the first to be abolished,” said CDA’er Heerma. “Communication should be better on points.”