After today’s meetings with the cabinet, health experts and the Outbreak Management Team, Prime-Minister Mark Rutte and Minister De Jonge are having a joint press conference at 7 PM. There will be an extension of the current coronavirus measures in the Netherlands till (and including) the 28th of April (which was previously the 6th of April).

This means that the schools will remain closed after 6 April till and including the 28th of April, as will bars and restaurants. You might want to check your children’s school vacation schedule, as most will have a ‘may-vacation’ carrying on into May (and we have 3 different regions and periods for this in the Netherlands)

The urgent advice to keep a distance of 1.5 meters and to stay at home as much as possible remains in force. Contact professions, such as hairdressers and masseurs, are also not allowed to open up.

These are the most important messages from the press conference:

  1. All measures are now extended till, and including, the 28th of April 2020
  2. These measures can be (in part) extended, and this will be announced well in advance of the 28th of April
  3. If the country will be ‘opened’, it will be in phases
  4. Schools will remain closed till, and including the May-vacation – so that might be longer than the 28th of April
  5. Don’t plan trips and such after the 28th of April
  6. Care employees working outside of hospitals (nurseries etc.) can now be tested for coronavirus too.

There were also compliments from Rutte for the Dutch people as most of them complied with the measures and he knew this was hard for some and at times. He also reiterated that this is an intelligent lockdown (or ‘targeted’ lockdown) as the Netherlands isn’t a country that’s fit for an absolute lockdown in his opinion. So he once again called for thinking before one acts and for people to stay at home as much as possible.

Feat image: still from press conference Rutte

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