Dutch primary schools and childcare to reopen on February 8, cabinet decides

Yesterday, the Dutch cabinet decided definitively that primary schools and childcare will reopen throughout the Netherlands on February 8. The majority of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) is in agreement with this decision. 

The OMT’s advice was taken into consideration during the meeting, where reportedly the majority of OMT members believe there is “room for perspective and some relaxation.”

Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Arie Slob, says the decision is “good news for children, parents and teachers.”

A real risk

However, the OMT also warned that the relaxation will bring about a “real risk” for the number of ICU and hospital administrations, the NOS reports. According to the advice that the team gave, an unspecified number of OMT members remain against the decision to reopen schools.

Slob said during the meeting that he was aware of the concerns. For this reason, extra measures will be brought in for students and teachers.

High schools and after-school care remain closed

In accordance with these extra measures, teachers will now undergo rapid testing and students will be required to quarantine for five days if a classmate tests positive for coronavirus.

According to the cabinet, only primary schools and childcare will reopen for the time being. This means that secondary schools and after-school-care are not expected to reopen on February 8.

According to the OMT, after-school-care would mean that different groups of children would be brought together which would increase the risk of further infection. The cabinet will make a decision regarding secondary school education in next week’s meeting at the Catshuis Council.

What do you think about the reopening of primary schools and childcare? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Arthur Krijgsman/Pexels. 

Sarah O'Leary
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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