Extra Covid measures in Rotterdam must also mean more business support, Mayor says
If the government decides to put the Rotterdam-Rijnmond security region in a full lockdown due to the high number of coronavirus infections, the government should also come with extra support for businesses in the region, according to Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam and chairman of Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam-Rijnmond.
On Tuesday the government announced additional measures against the spread of the coronavirus that will be implemented nationwide, including that all publicly accessible buildings will close for two weeks and social gatherings will be limited even further. During the press conference, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said that regions with too high infections may need to be placed in full lockdown in the coming days, specifically mentioning Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Zuid-Holland Zuid, and Twente.
"I'll be disappointed if it has to, I hope that between now and the weekend a significant drop in the figures will also be visible," Aboutaleb said to Rijnmond about a possible full lockdown in his region. "If it doesn't happen, we will get a hammer blow from the cabinet. In that case, I do think that an extra support package should also come from the government for entrepreneurs here in the region."
According to Aboutaleb, emergency measures cannot force people to stay at home. "The entrepreneurs will be duped, but people can still go shopping in Delft, for example," he said.
He called on Rotterdam residents to see this through. "I want to encourage the people in the city: please hold on. And in doing so I express my incredible thanks and admiration for the care staff. And to all residents: help us, do not give up, then we have perspective on a beautiful Christmas together."