Prime Minister: Reopening schools before February 8 would be "small miracle"
Primary schools and daycare centers will almost certainly remain closed until Monday, February 8. This is what outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte said during his Friday press conference after the Council of Ministers.
He announced that "opening earlier than February 8 would be a small miracle, but hopefully the schools and childcare will be able to open again from then on." For a decision on this, the cabinet is waiting for expert advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) about the contagiousness of the UK variant. Reopening depends on this.
According to the prime minister, the first indications from research are "not gloomy," but there is still insufficient basis for reopening the schools. Better than expected figures from Lansingerland do not change that. "The figures we have about distribution in the Netherlands show that the British mutation has a reproduction rate of 1.3. That is and will remain a concern."
The current lockdown plus curfew runs until February 9. A decision on the period after that will be made on February 2. Rutte said that ,"The period thereafter will remain difficult, but we want to be the first to get rid of that curfew, if possible. We have had an extensive lockdown for a long time and that is terrible."
The Prime Minister sees no reason to postpone the elections, which are scheduled for 15, 16, and 17 March, due to the corona crisis. "It is possible the way we have now organized it."