The Netherlands 'too small' for regional Covid-19 regulations
While regional lockdowns are being considered in the event of a second wave of Covid-19 infections in the Netherlands, such an approach would run into a number of problems, Nijmegen mayor and Security Council chairman Hubert Bruls told television program EenVandaag on Monday.
"In the beginning, the rules were much clearer. The more you leave open, the more conversation there will be and the more ambiguity. We have to be prepared for that," Bruls said. According to him, this could result in much more being allowed in the north of the country than only 50 kilometers away in the south.
The mayor's comments come amid a gradual reopening of large sectors of the Dutch economy, with the most recent changes seeing European travel bans eased from Monday onward. In spite of this, warnings remain around the potential for a resurgence in Covid-19 cases later in the year.
"We know that there will be a dashboard that shows the situation of all 25 safety regions. We are working with the cabinet to see whether we can actually apply these different rules. But we are also very aware that it leads to discussion," explained Bruls, adding that some rules, such as the 1.5-meter social distancing guidelines, should remain in force everywhere to avoid confusing people. "In theory you can [let regions decide on the 1.5-meter rule], but I wouldn't do it."
"The basis of the policy is based on a distance of 1.5 meters. That is really the backbone of our anti-coronavirus policy. I think the country is too small and that it cannot be explained if you allow differences in that," added Bruls.