Mark Rutte and Hugo de Jonge went on the podium once again last Friday to talk about the future of coronavirus measures in the Netherlands.
But with a mere 2.6 million viewers, it was the least-watched press conference ever. However, it was also the press conference we’ve all been waiting for — the one where they announce the end of restrictions!
So in case you missed it, here’s the lowdown of Friday’s presser.
From August 30: higher education opens without social distancing
Earlier in the summer, Dutch universities insisted they should receive first priority next time the government decided to ease restrictions in the Netherlands — and to the great relief of students and staff, they listened.
Already before the press conference, news that higher education would reopen with physical classes after the summer was well-known outside the Parliament.
But here are the details: from August 30, Dutch universities and HBO education can open their doors to full on-campus teaching without the one and a half metre distance requirement.
After the press conference, it’s clear that letting go of social distancing within these institutions is a first step towards the total abandonment of the one and a half metre rule.
From September 20: no more social distancing in the Netherlands
While all other current measures will stay in place until September 19, the government is hoping for big changes towards the end of September. Namely, they want to end the one and a half metre rule for the rest of society.
The aim to end social distancing on September 20, does not mean the end of restrictions though. Nightclubs will still remain closed and all events with more than 75 participants will continue to require a QR code from the CoronaCheck app.
From November 1: the end of all coronavirus measures in the Netherlands
And that’s it, folks! (or so we hope). The government intends to end all measures on November 1 — yes ALL.
Before we get too excited it’s important to note that the easing and eventual end of coronavirus measures depends completely on the number of infections and hospital admissions in the Netherlands.
Outgoing Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge, also emphasised the importance of vaccinations in reaching the goals set for November 1. At the press conference, he urged all those who wish to get vaccinated to book their jab as soon as possible.
De Jonge also mentioned the possibility that testing for access to events won’t continue to be free in the long term.
Do you think the Netherlands should end restrictions by November 1? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: AntonioGuillemF/Depositphotos