Rutte: “We’re in danger of losing the gains we made”

Photo Credit: Nos.nl Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the press conference

In a press conference this evening, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Dutch Minister of Health, Hugo De Jonge, explained the state of affairs regarding the coronavirus.

The rise in infections will bring stricter rules for bars, cafes, cinemas, live theatres, restaurants, and theme parks. Hospitality industry patrons will now have to leave contact details. If infections rise in these sectors, they’ll have to close down for two weeks again.

Travellers arriving from risk zones must stay at home for two weeks on their return. In case they have complaints, a test is essential.

Test results online, trial with app from 17 August

From next week, people will be able to see the results of their tests online. From Wednesday, 12 August, there’ll be a site on which people can log in and retrieve information about themselves, Minister De Jonge announced. This will shorten the time between the infection and the source and contact investigation.

In addition, the Coronameter app will be tested from 17 August. This trial will take place in Drenthe and Twente. The app is scheduled to become available nationwide on 1 September.

Use of face masks

According to Prime Minister Rutte, face masks probably do little to prevent the spread of the virus. “The 1.5-meter distance is more important than the barely contributing face masks, but face masks can cause changes in behaviour,” said the prime minister.

Two cities – Amsterdam and Rotterdam – have introduced compulsory face masks. “We’re going to see if we can learn something from the compulsory wearing of face mask in Rotterdam and Amsterdam,” said Rutte.

Infections on the rise
Photo Credit: NOS.nl
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge

Two weeks homestay for travellers from risk areas

Travellers from risk zones must stay at home for two weeks on their return. They must apply for tests in case of complaints, said Minister De Jonge. And based on passenger data, the national team of the Municipal Health Service (GGD) will call travellers to check whether they are following the quarantine.

The Prime Minister wasn’t happy with the laxity with which people are complying with the anti-corona measures. “The virus is advancing dangerously. The data proves that. The number of infections has been increasing for a few weeks, and we’re in danger of losing the gains we have made,” Rutte stated. “For goodness sake, let’s make sure together that the second lockdown isn’t necessary.”

New infections have reached a worrying level, but haven’t yet reached a critical point, Rutte said.

Source: Nos.nl, Omroepbrabant.nl

Translation: Chaitali Sengupta

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