Face coverings on public transit; Hairdressers, terraces to open soon: Reports
Public transportation will resume a normal schedule beginning on June 1, with passengers required to cover their nose and mouths, according to a report from NOS. Some close-contact professions, including hair stylists and beauty salons, will open on May 11, with some restrictions also eased for cafes, movie theaters, and museums, reported Nu.nl.
Groups of up to ten people could also be allowed, as opposed to the current maximum of two, which could expand further by July. The relaxed ruled would only remain in effect if the basic reproduction number remains below 1, meaning that on average those infected with coronavirus pass the infection on to no more than one person.
Sources told both news outlets that the details will be revealed by the Cabinet later on Wednesday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge were expected to hold a press conference at 7 p.m. to reveal more information about the future of restrictions imposed on society as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The news conference was set to follow the Outbreak Management Team meeting, which was to discuss the current situation in the Netherlands, with an eye towards short-term trends as it relates to the health crisis.
Public transportation changes
When public transit operators resume their full schedules for the first time in over seven weeks, those wanting to use the service will be required to wear at least a non-medical mask. The decision was made after intense lobbying from transit operators and also the umbrella organizations which represent them.
The decision to fully restart public transportation would be contingent on a continuation of fewer reported infections and a continued low level of new hospital admissions. The final decision to begin again will happen closer to June 1, the broadcaster said.
Public transportation has mostly operated at far lower levels to continue to provide service to people who are in a vital profession and are unable to work from their homes. This includes healthcare workers, first responders, and several other professions. However by gradually relaxing restrictions, transit operators feared capacity issues if people have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from one another.
With the introductions of masks, the distance rule might no longer be required on buses, trams, trains, and metros, broadcaster NOS said.
Stylists, cafes, and entertainment
In order for beauticians and stylists to open their doors again from May 11, they will have to make appointments with their clients in advance, and ask whether or not the client is at risk of infection. If not, then the worker paired with the client will not be required to wear a mask, Nu.nl reported.
Clients will still have to keep a 1.5 meter distance from one another. Originally, these professions were not likely to reopen before May 19.
Other locations will see rules relaxed further on June 1. Group sizes will remain limited so that cafes can at least re-open their terraces, and movie theaters and museums can allow some members of the public inside.
There were conflicting rumors as to whether these group sizes would be limited to ten people, or thirty. If all goes well, events for up to 100 people will also be allowed beginning on July 1.