Two-thirds of all coronavirus cases are already linked to the more contagious British variant. That‘s what demissionary Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced. “All pass-on points to the arrival of a third wave.”
According to Rutte, the Cabinet cannot ignore the British variant. “The British variant takes over at lightning speed.” Despite concerns about the British variant of the coronavirus, primary schools and childcare centres will reopen next week. Retailers will be able to welcome their customers again from 10 February for picking up orders they have made online or by phone. There must be four hours between ordering and picking up to prevent funshopping and only one person (outside) can pick up the product.
There will be strict rules for primary schools. “In case of a positive test, the whole class and the teacher must be quarantined. We’re going to test much more and faster,” explains Rutte. The extracurricular care is not opening yet because children come from different schools here. In any case, secondary education will not open until 1 March.
As expected, the Cabinet will not look at any extension of the curfew until the end of this week. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) will advise the cabinet on whether the contested measure is necessary after 9 February. According to Rutte, it‘s too early to see the effect on the virus. That opinion is expected at the end of this week.
The Cabinet has also been working on a little perspective on a life without all kinds of restrictions over the past two weeks. Prime Minister Rutte: “We all crave certainty and a clear plan. But the reality is that one hundred percent certainty is not to be given. We can show you which direction it can go.”
About restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, cafes and contact professions, the cabinet now gives a little more perspective in a new roadmap. Unlike the first version, the coronation situation can now be scaled off. Currently, according to the roadmap, the Netherlands is still in the most serious situation.
De Jonge warns that the roadmap may change regularly. The coronaminister wants to use more heavily on tests as soon as the coronac figures are better. About vaccination, he says, “It’s right. We‘re slower than our neighbours, but we’re walking into it. By maintaining a smaller stock, we can vaccinate more and more quickly.”
According to the CDA administration, the fastest way to reduce measures is to vaccinate vulnerable groups.
Over the past few weeks there was more and more criticism of De Jonge. From the slow vaccination to digital leaks in the coronavirus system of the GGD and this week another calculation blunder in figures of the number of vaccinations.
De Jonge says that there may be more mistakes and that in all cases he wants to communicate fairly about them. He still claims to be the right man in the right place. The Minister cannot really appreciate the critical questions about the blunder: “I would hope that the vaccination also helps against all that negativity.”
Wednesday there is a debate in the House of Representatives about the leaks of GGD systems, a day later the cabinet has to answer for the latest developments in the approach to the coronacrisis.