Emergency coronavirus meeting currently taking place at Catshuis
An emergency meeting to discuss the coronavirus pandemic is taking place at the Catshuis, Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s official residence, now. The conference consists of those Ministers who are closely involved in handling the pandemic and medical experts. NOS reports that the parties involved have arrived at the meeting.
The meeting was scheduled yesterday because of the rising number of coronavirus infections. One of the topics that will be discussed is the potential closing of certain shops. “Not the supermarkets, but non-essential items,” said political correspondent Nynke de Zoeten on Nieuwsuur on Saturday. “Think of garden centers and clothing stores.”
It will be a complicated debate, as significant consequences hinge on the outcome of this meeting. Among other things, there is the fear that forcing non-essential shops to close down may lead to another “mini Black Friday,” as shop owners might push to sell their Christmas stock as soon as possible.
Last week, the public health agency RIVM suggested that there might have been a direct connection between the busy shopping streets on Black Friday and the increase in coronavirus infections.
Other venues that might face a shutdown are so-called transfer locations, such as museums and zoos. These were also closed for two weeks in November. Whether the early closure of schools is also on the table is unclear.
There will be further consultations in the coming days, and in all likelihood, there will be another press conference by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo De Jonge on Tuesday.