Cabinet discussing curfew extension today
The cabinet is meeting on Monday to discuss the curfew and other measures in place against the coronavirus, after their weekly meeting at the Prime Minister's residence on Sunday was cancelled due to the winter weather.
There will be an informal meeting on Monday morning, also attended by Prime Minster Mark Rutte and Jaap van Dissel, the director of public health institute RIVM, RTL Nieuws reports. In the afternoon, the cabinet will meet again and make a decision on whether or not to extend the curfew.
As things currently stand, the curfew will expire at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday. If the measure is extended, there may be a parliamentary debate on the matter. As the Rutte III cabinet is an outgoing cabinet, after it resigned in the childcare allowance scandal, it needs parliament's approval to implement any controversial measures. But because this is only an extension, the cabinet may get away without a debate.
If a debate is needed, it will likely happen on Tuesday. There seems to be majority support in parliament for extending the curfew.
The cabinet and Outbreak Management Team are very concerned about the B117 coronavirus, an extra contagious strain first identified in the United Kingdom, spreading in the Netherlands. Last week, the RIVM reported that the majority of new Covid-19 infections were already the B117 strain.
From today, primary schools and daycare facilities in the Netherlands are allowed to reopen, though many are staying closed on Monday due to the weather. Van Dissel warned parliament last week that any further relaxation of the coronavirus measures will likely lead to "a significant increase" in the number of Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations.