Covid policy causing tensions in Dutch gov't
The second wave of the coronavirus and the policy against its spread is sparking some fierce arguments in the cabinet. Tensions are rising, but it's not to the point of a disruption, people involved told RTL Nieuws.
By this weekend, the government wants to have an idea of whether the stricter measures announced last week had an effect on the rising Covid-19 infections. If the number of infections level out, the intention is to extend the current package of measures, according to RTL. If infections continue to rise, stricter measures are expected.
There are several variants of more stringent measures under consideration. If no curfew is introduced, stricter measures will be needed in the catering industries, insiders said to the broadcaster. The intention is to keep gyms and sports schools open, as hardly any infections were reported there, the insiders said.
These discussions are leading to more tension behind the scenes, RTL's insiders said. Ministers from the financial-economic corner think that too little attention is paid to the effect measures have on the catering and events sector. Some think that things are closing too quickly. The possible introduction of a curfew is also sparking arguments. There are also concerns that too little attention is paid for the longer term - as long as there is no vaccine, plans must stretch at least 18 months in the future, according to the critics.
The government will be swamped with meetings in the coming days. The Council of Ministers is on Friday, with more consultations expected over the weekend. On Monday, the Outbreak Management Team will present its advice to the government. A number of official consultations are also scheduled for Monday, as well as a meeting of the Security Council, the chairpersons of the 25 security regions in the country.
All these consultations are meant to lead to a decision on the coronavirus measures that will be in effect in the Netherlands for the coming week. The expectation is that new measures will be announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge in a press conference on Tuesday evening.