Opposition worried that lockdown came too late, effects on society
Opposition parties in parliament accused the government of waiting far too long to intervene, which is why the country is now in a hard lockdown. They also fear that the lockdown will hit multiple groups in society very hard, expressing concerns about retailers, pupils and students, the elderly, and the catering industry, NOS reports.
On Monday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the Netherlands would go into hard lockdown for five weeks. All non-essential shops, schools, zoos, theaters, amusement parks and numerous contact professions will be closed until at least January 19. People are allowed no more than two guests at home, except for the Christmas days when they can have three. A full list of applicable restrictions can be found here.
"For weeks the number of infections grew and the cabinet tossed around," SP leader Lilian Marijnissen said on Twitter. "Now only the emergency brake remains."
PVV leader Geert Wilders also spoke about the government's noncommittal policy. "What a drama for everyone in healthcare, catering and shops," he said.
50Plus is concerned about the elderly and people with health problems who may not be able to get their groceries.
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said that he has been calling for decisive action for some time because of the immense pressure on healthcare staff.
GroenLinks is critical of the closure of primary schools in particular. "An entire generation is being affected and that hurts, especially when you see that holiday flights are still departing from Schiphol," party leader Jesse Klaver siad.
FvD leader Thierry Baudet fears for the hospitality industry. "It's destroying lives."
The coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie support the cabinet's choices, calling the lockdown necessary. "Unfortunately, it is necessary for the measures to be stricter," D66 leader Rob Jetten said, adding that the festive season makes sticking to the rules extra difficult for some.