That’s all for now folks: no new Dutch relaxations on May 11

If you were hoping to finally start getting that six-pack at your local gym or to take your kids to the zoo, you’re in for some disappointment (again). 

A few weeks ago, the Dutch government announced a new five-step roadmap to a summer without coronavirus measures. 

We successfully got through step one with terraces reopening and were looking forward to the next round of relaxations. This would have meant opening gyms, amusement parks, and zoos under certain conditions — which the Dutch government was hoping to introduce after May 11. 

However, now it’s clear that this won’t be happening. The cabinet announced in a short statement that it would postpone further relaxations for the time being, according to the NOS.

Step two of the roadmap postponed

The government “sees that the figures are over the peak.” However, “the decrease is not yet sufficiently visible to be able to take the next step of the opening plan responsibly.”

The pressure on healthcare and the number of hospital admissions remains too high to allow any more relaxations in the Netherlands. There will be no press conference this week to announce these changes.

Disappointment

While many trade organisations understand this decision, they can’t hide their disappointment. “Of course we understand that the pressure on healthcare should not be too high,” says Ronald Wouters from NL Actief on behalf of the fitness industry. 

“But, good resistance through a healthy lifestyle, through exercise, that’s part of the solution because it contributes to relieving the pressure on healthcare,” he adds. 

Wouters sees a lot of appreciation of the sports sector from the Dutch government, but also feels that this appreciation doesn’t translate into policy. 

The Dutch Association of Zoos is equally disappointed. “We have very good protocols. We can properly regulate visits to our locations,” says the director, Wineke Schoo.

How do you feel about this decision? Were you hoping to see the next set of relaxations after May 11? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image: Humphrey Muleba/Unsplash

Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Originally from the Czech Republic, Jana moved to the Netherlands for her studies. She fell in love with the local biking culture, and you’ll see her drifting through the streets of Rotterdam on her pink bike even in the worst possible weather (think rain, snow, hail, or all three). Besides advocating for Rotterdam as the best Dutch city, she likes to wander around with a camera in her hand.

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