The Netherlands will ease some COVID-19 rules from next Wednesday, 28 April.
Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, announced this at this evening’s press conference. The government will relax several controls in this first step of the reopening plan. So,
- The curfew will be lifted.
- You can have two visitors at home per day.
- Restaurant terraces can conditionally open from 12:00 to 18:00.
- You can go shopping at any shop without an appointment. That means non-essential shops, like clothing shops, are also allowed to open again. Again, however, subject to conditions.
- Would-be drivers can take theory exams again.
- The maximum number of people attending a funeral will increase from 50 to 100.
- All levels of education may be taught at external locations. This also applies to practical places and was already permitted for secondary education. For tertiary education, this applies from Monday already.
“We dare to take this step,” says Rutte, who speaks of a balancing act. “Models forecast a decline in hospital admissions. So, this is the time to take the next step in easing [the measures].”
According to Rutte, this makes it even more important to stick to the basic rules. “We call them basic rules for good reason. If we follow them as closely as possible, this first step will be successful.”
From tomorrow, the Netherlands will start vaccinating people with Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge during the press conference. This vaccine has an infrequent side effect.
It causes thrombosis combined with a lower blood platelets count. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has researched this side effect. They conclude that it’s, indeed, very rare.
But, says the EMA, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. According to De Jonge, this finding is enough for the Dutch cabinet to start using this vaccination again. He says the Netherlands is on course with its vaccination programme.
Translator: Melinda Walraven