“Developments around the coronavirus in our country are not going well,” says Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte. “If we’re not careful, we’ll be back to square one in no time.”
This was last evening. Rutte and Minister of Health, Hugo De Jonge held a second press conference in as many weeks. They advised people to have parties at home with no more than six guests. “Rather go to a venue,” the Prime Minister urged.
“It’s easier to keep the required 1.5m distance there.” According to the Dutch Cabinet, COVID-19 is making dangerous advances in every age group. And people are being infected mostly at large private gatherings.
Minister De Jonge added that there’s every reason to prevent another lockdown. He is, however, very concerned about the latest figures. “Anyone who gets infected can get pretty sick,” he says.
“And not just those from vulnerable groups and the elderly. We also see people in their twenties, thirties and forties, seriously ill.”He said the Cabinet knows they are asking for something that is not a natural human trait.
“People want to be together and touch each other. But it’s an enormous form of solidarity to stick to the rules. That’s how you protect each other.”
Keep working from home
People should remain working from home, as much as possible, for the foreseeable future. “This is one of the most effective measures,” Rutte said. And there’s no question of easing this rule.
“The figures clearly don’t support this. Work at home as much as possible. Even after 1 September.” That was the date that this measure was supposed to be lifted.
The period of quarantine has also been shortened on the Outbreak Management Team’s advice. It’s now ten, instead of 14, days.
Translator: Melinda Walraven