In a press conference Tuesday evening 19 May, Prime minister Rutte and Health Minister De Jonge outlined the further relaxation of the anti-corona measures. As expected, the announced proceedings will take effect on 1 June.
Given the figures on the corona-epidemic and the latest advice from the Outbreak Management Team, this looks justified, the Prime Minister announced.
“Together,we’ve earned this space now,” complimented Mr. Rutte. The mantra remains however: stay at home in case of complaints, keep a distance of 1.5 meters, avoid crowds, wash your hands often and work at home as much as possible.
The cabinet is sticking to the opening of the hospitality industry on 1 June, starting at noon. There was an enormous pressure from the industry to open earlier because of the long weekend and warm weather. But the cabinet refrained from doing so, fearing that it will be too risky.
30 People are allowed inside a café, restaurant or beach club from June 1. There are no limits to people sitting on terraces, as long as everyone is seated at a table and keeps 1.5 metres distance. An exception is made for customers from a single family or people who live together. They can sit together at a table, without keeping the 1.5meter distance. Customers have to make reservations. There will be a checkup interview, where an assessment will be made in advance, to check whether a visit poses any risks.
Health minister Hugo de Jonge said the government’s focus now is to ensure maximum control of the virus ‘so we can soon live our lives as we are used to’. ‘We have to realise that this is the situation, until there is a vaccine,’ he said.
There’s a plan of mass testing of people with symptoms. From June 1st you don’t need a referral from your GP anymore. You can straight away call GGD (Municipal Health Services) if you have complaints. A national telephone number will be made available for this purpose.
Within a day the GGD will have the result of the test and if it is positive the infected person has to stay in home quarantine. Everyone who has been in contact with that person is advised by letter and telephone to stay at home.
Primary schools will reopen fully from June 8th. Daycare and afterschool care will also be allowed to reopen.The secondary schools will also reopen, as previously announced. This will happen on 2 June, the day after Whitsun. All pupils have to keep 1.5 metre distance. The secondary special education can also be reopened on 2 June, provided that this is possible. On 15 June, secondary vocational education and higher education (universities of applied sciences and universities of applied sciences) will start again with a limited number of tests, exams, practical lessons, and supervision of vulnerable students at the institution.
As previously announced, public transport will operate according to the normal timetable from 1 June. However, it is only intended for necessary journeys. Wearing a non-medical face mask is compulsory. Those who do not do so can be fined 95 euros.
The visiting scheme for nursing homes is being expanded. Since last week, only one permanent visitor per resident was allowed to enter 26 nursing homes under strict conditions. This was part of an ongoing trial. As of 25 May, this will be extended to more locations. From 15 June, the visiting scheme shall be adjusted on a national level.
Cultural institutions including theatres, concert halls, museums, monuments, venues, music schools, centres for the arts and cinemas can reopen their doors on June 1 at noon, under condition that visitors always keep a distance of 1.5 meters. Maximum number of visitors are restricted to 30.
Discotheques and clubs remain closed and large (permit required) events are not allowed.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta