Things will get better from summer, Dutch Health Min. says in special kids' press conference
The Dutch government hopes that the coronavirus situation will be under control enough by summer for measures to be relaxed to something more like normal life, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said in a special press conference he and Prime Minister Mark Rutte held for children on Tuesday.
The press conference was organized by the NOS Jeugdjournaal. Kids sent in about 10 thousand questions in advance, of which the Ministers answered a few dozen on Tuesday.
Most of the questions submitted were about perspective for children getting to resume their lives. In that area, Rutte and De Jonge had little positive news. School camps, school trips, and end-of-year school performances will likely not be able to take place this spring. "It may well be that a third wave is coming. In April, May or early June, it will probably not go well enough yet."
Exactly when kids will be able to pick up life again, is difficult to say, De Jonge said. "Because it depends on many different things. I think we will have so many people vaccinated by the summer that most of the measures can be abolished. But I dare not make any promises," the Health Minister said.
Where kids are concerned, the Ministers' main focus is on reopening secondary schools safely, without triggering a 'yo-yo effect'. "If schools open again, they shouldn't then have to close again," De Jonge said. "It will not be the same as it used to be: you have to be able to keep your distance at secondary school, and that is not possible in the old situation. So there will likely be a system of groups that alternate: the one group in the morning, the other in the afternoon. Or every other day."
An update on secondary schools reopening will be published on Tuesday, February 23, De Jonge promised.