Press conference concerning new Dutch coronavirus measures announced for tomorrow

The Dutch cabinet has announced that a press conference will be held tomorrow afternoon to discuss new coronavirus measures. 

The conference will be held early tomorrow afternoon, Minister for Health, Hugo De Jonge has announced. Whilst the minister did not indicate exactly what new measures will be discussed, it is likely the topics of curfew and a visitor restriction will be addressed.

Experts believe stricter measures and curfew inevitable

Dutch experts are now saying that stricter measures in the Netherlands are to be expected in spite of a reduction in coronavirus infections. This is due to the continued circulation of the new variant of coronavirus throughout the country, they say.

“Although the lockdown does work, we expect that with only the current measures the infections will increase again because of that British variant,” epidemiologist and behavioural scientist Esther Metting tells the NOS.

Health economist and epidemiologist Koen Pouwels conducts large-scale coronavirus research at Oxford University, he believes the Netherlands needs to get ahead of the new variant in order to avoid a situation similar to that of the UK. “The advantage for the Netherlands is that it can keep an eye on the new variant,” says Powels.

Continued spread of the variant

The cause for concern stems from a noted increase in the number of people who test positive for the new variant in the Netherlands. Experts have been testing random samples from positive coronavirus tests. They found that the percentage of these positives that can be attributed to the new strain has significantly increased.

Epidemiologist and behavioural scientist, Esther Metting, explains this to the NOS. “In the Netherlands, we test randomly for the British variant and you can see that in three weeks the presence of the variant has gone from 1 to 12%.”

For this reason, it is likely that the Dutch cabinet have decided to take action — even if it’s just through words. What comes next will be determined tomorrow.

Do you think extra coronavirus restrictions are necessary? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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