RIVM: Dutch not keeping their distance; Not enough being tested
Despite the fact that most Netherlands residents support the measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, fewer and fewer people are managing to adhere to them, according to public health institute RIVM's ongoing survey of over 50 thousand Netherlands residents.
Only 28 percent of Netherlands residents said that they always or mostly keep a distance of 1.5 meters from others, a massive decrease compared to the first survey in April, when 63 percent said they rarely or never break social distancing. Half of respondents said they were in a crowded place where social distancing was impossible over the past week. Netherlands residents find it most difficult to stay 1.5 meters apart while doing shopping, while in restaurants or bars, in cultural establishments, and during sports.
The willingness to get tested if you have symptoms that could indicate a coronavirus infection, like fever and shortness of breath, increased somewhat, but is still very low, the RIVM found. 19 percent of respondents who had such symptoms in the three weeks prior to the survey went to get tested, compared to 13 percent in the previous survey.
The advice to stay at home if you have symptoms also seems to be a very difficult one to follow for people in the Netherlands. 89 percent of people who had symptoms said they went shopping at least once while they had symptoms. 63 percent said they visited friends or family. And 47 percent still went to work.
Despite the decreasing compliance with the government measures to curb the spread of the virus, there is still a lot of support for these measures. Hygiene measures like regular hand washing, instructions to avoid crowds and stay home with symptoms all have more than 80 percent support. 74 percent said they support getting tested if you have symptoms.
Nearly three quarters of respondents said they believe the measures help to prevent the virus spreading, though two thirds called it likely to very likely that there will be a second wave of the epidemic - 6 percent more than in the previous survey.
As the lockdown measures eased over the past month, so did loneliness among the Netherlands residents. 46 percent of respondents said they feel lonely because of the measures, a decrease of 24 percent compared to the first survey in April.
On Tuesday the RIVM reported that there were nearly a thousand new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands in the past week - nearly double the number of infections the week before. On Thursday, four experts in the medical field called on the government to take new measures within three days to prevent another major outbreak.