Gov't promises to see what can be done for young people in lockdown
The government will examine whether there is room to relax coronavirus restrictions for young people, after a manifesto by Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema and six other prominent Dutch asked the Ministers to do so. The topic was up for discussion in the weekly Council of Ministers, and beforehand all Ministers responded with understanding for the request, as long as it is safe, NOS reports.
The manifesto stated that the consequences of the lockdown on young people are no longer justified. The mental and social impact on the youth is too great. "I recognize the need for curfew and other measures, but when we consider granting more freedoms, think of young people first," Halsema said to Nieuwsuur.
"We see that things are needed there," Minister Tamara van Ark for Medical Care said to NOS on Friday. "We will include that call in the decision-making process." Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus said: "I agree with what [Halsema] says. First look carefully at the youth." Minister Sigrid Kaag for Development agreed. "I think we need to be smart about what can be done and how," she said. She wants to "take a sensible risk" for this group, because young people are not "made to only communicate with each other via Zoom."
Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said he understands where the manifesto is coming from and he believes social support is needed for young people and other groups struggling under the coronavirus measures. "There are many people who suffer from the virus, but there are also many people who mainly suffer from the measures. And that certainly applies to young people," he said. "That is precisely one of the topics we will be discussing in the Council of Ministers today. How can we provide support for certain groups suffering from the corona measures?"
De Jonge added, though, that measures can only be relaxed if it is safe to do so. "I would like to emphasize that things are not going so well with the fall in figures," he said. "And underneath that a third wave is emerging. That is the situation we are in."