Gov't could restart non-contact sport, open libraries: report

The Dutch government may soon give the green light for non-contact sports like tennis and golf to restart, to expand sports opportunities for children and teenagers, and for libraries to reopen, the Telegraaf reports based on leaked advice from the government's Outbreak Management Team (OMT).

The OMT called the risks associated with playing non-contact sports "manageable", as long as everyone involved adheres to social distancing rules. An insider told the Telegraaf, that these sports will probably not restart next week - the government is looking at June 1. But the maximum age for those already allowed to practice sports, as long as they keep 1.5 meters apart, may increase from 18 to 23 years.

The OMT also gave advice on wearing masks outside of healthcare. People in high contact professions don't necessarily have to wear masks, but they are allowed to, the OMT advised. People don't have to wear masks on the street, or in other public places where they can keep 1.5 meters apart. In places where social distancing is impossible, people can "consider" wearing masks, the OMT said. 

On Tuesday, it already leaked that people working in contact professions, such as hairdressers, may be able to go back to work next week. And that restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen their terraces on June 1. Hairdressers are eager to get back to work. The catering industry is less enthusiastic about the government's plans.

According to the OMT, the government can only relax all coronavirus measures in place if there is "sufficient testing capacity to test persons with symptoms". There must also be "sufficient capacity and opportunities for source and contact investigation". The effects of the relaxed measures must be closely monitored, the OMT stressed. "So that action can be taken in time when the virus spreads quickly or widely."

The government is meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss relaxing the coronavirus measures. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health will hold a press conference after the meeting.