The Netherlands expects to see further relaxations on Wednesday

In the latest press conference, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that if there are 20% fewer coronavirus infections in Dutch hospitals, the Netherlands will see the next round of relaxations on May 19.

Now, after closely observing the numbers, the government is expected to officially announce that the Netherlands will go ahead with step two of the five-step plan to reopening. 

Today is the last day that the government can implement the so-called emergency brake option (whereby they would halt relaxations for the time being). However, looking at the current coronavirus figures, there is no reason for this to happen.

The number of patients admitted to the ICU with coronavirus has fallen for the seventh day in a row and the other figures also look promising, reports RTL Nieuws

Fewer hospital admissions and fewer infections 

The government had said it would only allow further relaxations if the number of hospital admissions due to coronavirus falls by 20% compared to the peak on April 21.

As of now, the average number of new admissions to the ICU has fallen by 22% and the average number of admissions to the nursing ward by more than 24%, when considering the seven-day average.

For example, on Saturday, 710 patients with coronavirus required intensive care. On Sunday, this number fell by 24.

Infections are also going down and yesterday, the Netherlands reported 4,494 new infections. The week before that, this number was 6,648. 

Step two of the reopening plan

Given these figures and the government’s plan, it is expected that from Wednesday onwards, the government will allow further relaxations. Under these, terraces will have extended opening hours, from 6 AM until 8 PM. 

In addition, zoos, amusement parks, music schools, and theatres will be allowed to reopen in open-air environments. More relaxations will also be introduced for sports — adults will be able to exercise outside in a team and gyms will reopen with appointment slots. 

Step three on the way?

On June 1, the Dutch cabinet is expected to make a decision about step three of relaxations. This includes eating indoors in restaurants, museums reopening, and receiving more visitors at home. If the step three relaxations go ahead, they will take effect on June 9 earliest. 

Are you happy to see another set of relaxations in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Louis Hansel/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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