Covid-19: Secondary schools to fully reopen; Gyms restart from July 1
Secondary schools in the Netherlands will fully reopen after the summer holiday, sources told the public broadcaster NOS on Monday, with gyms, saunas, casinos and sports canteens set to open as soon as July 1. The new set of eased restrictions is expected to be announced by the cabinet at its press conference on Wednesday under the rationale that Covid-19 has not flared-up in recent weeks in spite of the eased restrictions.
The loosening of restrictions was anticipated, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte saying in May that it would happen if the Covid-19 situation in the Netherlands continued to improve. On Monday, public health agency RIVM had did not report any new deaths linked to Covid-19. It was the first time that happened in 105 days.
The return of secondary school students to the classroom is set to coincide with the end of the summer holiday period, with intention being that students keep a distance from their teachers rather than from one another, the sources said. The date varies from region to region, with secondary schools in the provinces of Groningen, Denthe, Friesland, Overijssel, Flevoland and Noord-Holland reopening on Aug. 16, secondary schools in Gelderland, Utrecht and Zuid-Holland reopening on Aug. 30 and secondary schools in Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg reopening on Aug. 23.
Similarly, in order for gyms, saunas, casinos and sports canteens to reopen, they will be required to adhere to tighter hygiene regulations, such as ensuring that their facilities meet adequate ventilation standards.
While gyms, saunas and casinos have been closed since the coronavirus broke out in the Netherlands in March, secondary schools were partially reopened June 2, with students attending classes once a week on average while being required to socially distance from one another.
In addition to the expected new measures, the maximum number of people who can be present at funerals, marriages, religious gatherings, restaurants and movie theaters is also set to increase from 30 to 100 from July 1, according to the public broadcaster, on the condition that a distance of 1.5 meters is maintained.