Today, the Court of Appeal in The Hague held a hearing about the future of the Dutch curfew. For now, it looks like the final decision is to be made next week on Friday. 

Today was supposed to be a decisive day for the curfew — a coronavirus measure that came into effect in the Netherlands on January 23 and was subsequently extended by the government until March 2.

On Tuesday of this week, the judge of a court case in The Hague ruled that the curfew should be lifted immediately. However, following an urgent appeal from the government, the decision was suspended until today’s substantive hearing which took place from 10 AM. 

As the party submitting the appeal, the State spoke first at today’s hearing. Unlike the hearing on Tuesday, three judges were looking at the case instead of one, reports the NOS.

Decision later than expected

The initial hope was that the court would make a decision quickly to ease the uncertainty around the curfew. However, after hearing the arguments of both parties, the court chairman, Tan-de Sonnaville, announced that more time is needed to arrive at a decision.

Tan-de Sonnaville wants to look into the case thoroughly. “We thought this was the most sensible choice,” he told the NOS.

Senate’s debate

In addition to the substantive hearing at the Court of Appeal, the Senate will vote on the curfew emergency law at the end of this afternoon. The law already received the majority of votes in the House of Representatives yesterday. 

According to the Outgoing Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, the chances of the curfew still being in place after today are very high. However, he wants to first wait for the decision of the Court of Appeal before implementing the emergency law. 

Measures after March 2

Next week, the government is supposed to make a decision about the measures after March 2. However, it seems that the Dutch prime minister sees little room for relaxing the strict measures that are currently in place. “If I’m being honest, I’m not optimistic,” Rutte said in a debate about the curfew, the NOS reports

Strict coronavirus measures have been in place in the Netherlands since mid-December. Now, various parties have been calling for them to be relaxed, as the hard lockdown has had a major impact on people’s well-being, as well as the economy. 

Are you surprised by these developments? What do you think the measures will be after March 2?

Feature Image: ruddymedia/Unsplash

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