Tonight, Prime Minister Rutte and Minister for Health Hugo de Jonge will hold a press conference concerning potential new coronavirus measures. Cabinet seems to be maintaining a regional approach but new national restrictions are also being discussed.
As coronavirus cases climb across the Netherlands, cabinet is considering implementing new national measures, reports AD. Limiting group gatherings, like weddings, funerals and parties, is being discussed today as these are where coronavirus numbers have been spreading rapidly. However, De Jong does not want to anticipate national measures yet.
In preparation for the press conference, the mayors will also discuss potential regional quarantine obligations. Minister Bruls is pushing for stricter quarantine obligations. “I would like to be able to check whether someone is at home,” he said.
Cabinet’s decision on national measures will be revealed in the press conference this evening. However, they seem to still be favouring a regional approach.
After a cabinet meeting last night, De Jong commented that regional differences were large. Today the ministers will discuss to what extent new measure should be regional or national, in light of these differences.
However, overall the approach seems to be remaining on a regional level. After the conference tonight, mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema will announce new corona measures for the capital. Numbers are spreading rapidly there, as well as in Rotterdam where new regulations might be introduced later this week. Amsterdam and Rotterdam have already been experimenting with obligatory masks in public places.
Confusion and chaos
As numbers rise, cabinet has been frantically trying to deal with the issue but things have been chaotic. Source and contact research in Rotterdam and Amsterdam had major errors and the teams have been scrambling to get numbers in order. Last week, De Jonge announced a national quarantine order but this was scrapped within a day after pressure from the Lower House.
There was also confusion within cabinet. Minister Kajsa Ollongren of the Interior, for example, knew nothing about De Jonge’s plan for a quarantine obligation. “We should not surprise each other within the cabinet,” Ollongren said later.
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