Just as the Cabinet struggles with a balance between easing, but not unnecessarily slacking, so are other European countries taking part in this balancing act. How is the discussion surrounding this dilemma going in neighbouring countries?
In the Netherlands, the call for a relaxation of the lockdown is growing, as evidenced by a poll last week. In the meantime, the Cabinet has announced several simplifications. The I&O Research survey also showed that more than two thirds of the population still support coronation policy.
Satisfaction decreases in Germany
The same sound sounds across the border in Germany. The opposition to corona measures has risen there too, but less sharply than in the Netherlands. A large majority (70 percent) remains in favour of enforcement or even tightening, revealed by polls of the German channel ARD.
“ You see that satisfaction with government policy is starting to decline,” says correspondent Wouter Zwart. There is no national curfew, but locally in places with relatively high levels of contamination. Non-essential stores are close.
Black: “People understand the measures, but the fact that Germany does not really outline a future perspective is opposed to many people. In addition, vaccination is not as desired, it is not fast enough.”
In this graph you can see the level of contamination in the four countries discussed in this article:
A lack of perspective and slow inoculation: that probably sounds familiar to the ears. The Dutch cabinet has also been accused of these two criticisms on multiple counts. But the British Government is exactly the opposite.
The vaccination programme in the United Kingdom is at full speed: over one in four inhabitants have received at least one shot. And future prospects have been there since Prime Minister Johnson presented his roadmap for easing yesterday.
The alleviations mentioned are strictly conditional. But, according to correspondent Tim de Wit, the prospect that, with persistently favourable corona statistics, for example, the catering industry will be limited to open again in May. “After eleven months coronacrisis finally a clear dot on the horizon. With a prospect like that, I think youd be better to stay inside for another month. Because you cant go out here for no good reason.” The UK has one of the most stringent lockdowns worldwide.
Lots of support in UK
The support for these heavy corona measures is still great. Only 16% of the population feel that easing is too slow. 46% of those surveyed in the route plan poll thought the proposed pace was right and 26% were too fast.
According to De Wit, this has everything to do with the fact that the United Kingdom has been hit very hard by the pandemic. “We have now crossed the boundary of 120,000 deaths. Almost everyone knows someone who died or has been in the ICU. Major demonstrations against coronameasures such as in Germany or the Netherlands are not seen here.”
There have not been such protests on a large scale in Sweden, for example. The ten million inhabitants have relatively little nationwide mandatory coronation rules. However, museums, ice rinks, swimming pools and schools for students over 15 years old are closed.
Swedens confidence decreases
“ Many Swedes still think it is a good strategy that the government does not introduce a lockdown,” says correspondent Rolien Créton. “And that there is confidence that people follow the general guidelines.” However, according to a recent poll, the confidence in the Swedish RIVM and OMT and the government has had a strong tick.
At the end of May, just under a third of respondents still had confidence in the government or the national crisis team. “This followed revelations last month that the head of the National Crisis Centre travelled to the Canary Islands during the Christmas holidays, while the Swedes were called upon to stay at home. Also, the Prime Minister and a minister were spotted in a shopping centre just before Christmas,” says Créton.
Belgium is already thinking about 1 May
Since there is a wide range of mandatory measures in Belgium, our southern neighbours also have plenty of discussion: relax or not? Yesterday, the Prime Minister gave a presentation together with virologists. In it they outlined the different scenarios for the coming period.
“ This showed that easing on 1 March is too risky,” says correspondent Sander van Hoorn. “As of April 1, according to the models, it was already less risky. And as of 1 May, the current measures had so much effect that easing can be seriously considered, such as the opening of restaurants under conditions.”
The presentation was meant to give perspective. “But I also think to remove the pressure on the cabinet to ease faster. This sets the tone: thereis light at the end of the tunnel, last two months.”
In Belgium, just like in the Netherlands, there is a curfew. In Flanders from midnight to 5am and in Wallonia and Brussels from 22:00 to 06:00. According to correspondent Van Hoorn, the measure was much less resistance than in the Netherlands.