After pleas from shopkeepers and municipalities alike, the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) sees the possibility to relax measures for education, sports, and retail in what seems like a much-needed comeback for these sectors.
In the meantime, the cultural and catering industries will have to wait a bit longer, reports NU.nl.
A change of heart
The cabinet, RIVM experts, and the OMT are discussing the coronavirus situation, but a decision has not been made regarding the reopening of these sectors. The first press conference with the new Dutch cabinet will give the final word tomorrow.
The hard lockdown is set to end on Saturday, January 15, and due to the advice of the OMT, university and MBO students may get the chance for physical lessons again. There is also a chance that shopping and hairdresser appointments may return.
However, the cabinet wants to give business owners some leeway and “take things in small steps” to work on a proper reopening.
Hope for the future?
Although the omicron variant’s infection peak is still expected to hit the Netherlands, this seems like a big turn of events for the cabinet and OMT to consider relaxing restrictions. Despite the rate of coronavirus infections, many business owners have announced their reopening regardless of restrictions given the economic circumstances of these businesses.
On a brighter note, Belgian virologist Marc van Ranst has told Het Parool that the omicron variant is more similar to the flu. And there are other studies showing significantly fewer hospitalisations.
What do you think of the relaxation of restrictions for education, sports, and shops? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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