This evening, Prime Minister Rutte gave the long awaited press conference that revealed how the corona rules will be relaxed over the coming weeks.
Rutte: “Better to be cautious now than sorry later”
There were five different decisions that the cabinet took about coronavirus, in deciding which rules could be relaxed, and which not. Rutte emphasised that although the numbers of deaths, hospitalisations and ICU beds available have been improving, there is still an enormous amount of pressure on the healthcare system. Regular healthcare is still delayed for people with different illnesses, such as cancer. The situation in the nursing homes, he said, was also still worrying. In short, “it is better to be cautious now, than sorry later.”
Primary schools can begin to reopen on 11 May
The first decision the cabinet took was to allow primary schools to reopen- at least somewhat. They can reopen from 11 May, with one half of the class coming into school on one day, and the other half the next- this is to reduce the possibility of infection. Day-care and special primary education can open fully from the same date.
Under 12s can play team sports
Second came exercise and sport. Children under 12 can, from 28 April, play in team sports, and don’t need to try to keep to the 1.5m distance. Children between 12 and 18 can also play more sport outside, but must still keep to the 1.5m rule. Children should shower at home and parents shouldn’t line up to watch them play.
All public gatherings and events cancelled until 1 September
Public gatherings and events are, as expected, cancelled until 1 September. “At this point in time, we really can’t take the risk,” Rutte said. Football matches will also be cancelled until that date.
Contact professions still cannot operate
The fourth decision was about contact professions such as hairdressers and masseurs. These still cannot operate, because the risk is too great. The OMT will advise the government on the next steps for this industry, including on whether personal protective equipment will be necessary for them.
The rest of the rules are not changing
The fifth point was pretty much just a list of the rules that aren’t changing any time soon. They are as follows: Still no visitors are allowed to visit nursing homes. Everyone who can should continue to work from home, and to stay home as much as possible. Keep a 1.5m distance, keep washing your hands, stay at home with any cold symptoms and keep the whole family at home if one member has a fever. These are all extended until 20 May.
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Feature Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied.