All measures currently in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus are extended until Tuesday 28 April. Prime Minister Rutte announced this at a press conference today after the crisis meeting with the concerned ministers.
This means that the schools will remain closed after 6 April, just like the hospitality industry. The urgent advice to keep a distance of 1.5 meters and to stay at home as much as possible also remains in force. Other contact-heavy professions, such as hairdressers and masseurs, also shall remain suspended.
The prime minister urged the people not to make plans for the forthcoming May vacations. Mr. Rutte said that the motto is and shall be to stay inside: “We want as few people as possible to travel through the country. After April 28th we don’t really go back to the normal situation yet. So don’t make any plans for the May holiday.”
Holiday parks and camping sites do not have to be closed, but the shared toilet and shower blocks on camping sites must be closed.
“We realise we ask a lot of people, but it’s really necessary. The developments in the spread of the virus and the pressure on the IC departments do not allow for any other decision”, according to Rutte.
Rutte also praised citizens for abiding by the regulations. “There is only a very small group which doesn’t follow them but we saw that the second weekend there were even less people on the streets compared to the weekend before. That is why we can have an intelligent lock down.”
More tests planned
Health Minister De Jonge said the cabinet is aiming to get 2400 intensive care beds ready for next Sunday. According to the minister, things are quite challenging in the care sector, but everyone is doing their utmost to keep things running. As of Monday, healthcare workers who have complaints and are not working at the hospital can also be tested. This also applies to employees in home care.
There is currently capacity for 4000 tests per day. According to De Jonge, this will soon be expanded to 17,500 per day. Eventually, that should be increased to 29,000 tests per day.
Translator: Chaitali Sengupta