Prime Minister Rutte keeps the possibility of a temporarily halt public life in the Netherlands in the fight against coronavirus through a so-called lockdown. However, because the care capacity in our country is still sufficient, such a lockdown measure is not a priority right now.

Rutte responded tonight to criticism aimed at the Dutch policy to strive to build up ‘group immunity’ against the virus. Some say it is a risky approach that could lead to many deaths. Other countries, such as France recently, haven chosen for the lockdown approach Belgium also went in the direction of such a lockdown last night.

Not such a big difference in the Dutch approach to coronavirus

Rutte does not see that much difference in approach between the countries. “We don’t have a different strategy. This is the strategy that the whole world is following,” he said. According to Rutte, the capacity of IC departments is decisive in all countries. France and Belgium are now opting for a temporary lockdown, because their intensive care units are filling up rapidly. “That (ICU filling up) is also conceivable here, but we don’t have to do that (lockdown) now.”

In any case, what Rutte does not intend for a complete lockdown until a vaccine is available. “I don’t think we’re going to say to people, you can’t go out and that could take a year or maybe longer. Because it can take that long before there is a vaccine against corona.”

Don’t take any trips abroad

Last night it was also announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all unnecessary trips abroad, even if the destination is in the EU. “I say to people with travel plans: don’t do it, stay here. Chances are you will get stuck and cannot go back. We already have our hands full with bringing back the Dutch.”

Things are bad, heads are down, but the applause which sounded through the Dutch neighbourhoods at 8pm last night kind of touched us <3

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Feature Image: Minister-president Rutte/Flickr

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