Senate also votes in support of the new curfew bill
The new curfew law can be enacted. The Senate has approved the emergency law, intended to give the curfew a firmer legal basis. The roll-call vote revealed that 45 of the 58 senators present agreed with the bill submitted this week. The day before, a majority in the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) had already expressed support for the law. "This means that the bill has been accepted", said Senate leader Jan Anthonie Bruijn.
The text of the new law officially reads: Temporary limitation law to stay in the open air Covid-19 - was hastily drawn up this week. The cabinet wanted a legally sound law to be ready in case the court of appeal would reject the law.
The vote followed a week of a lot of discussion and confusion about the current law. Viruswaarheid, a group against all covid-19 restrictions, brought a lawsuit in which they challenged the curfew. On Tuesday, a court in the Hague ruled that the law was unjust and had to be withdrawn immediately. The Act was based on the Extraordinary Powers of Civil Authority Act (Wbbbg), intended for acute emergency situations. And the judge found that such a situation did not exist.
For a while, it seemed that everyone could go out on the street again after 9 p.m., but the cabinet managed to keep the curfew in place for the time being via another court ruling.
Critical Senate vote
Like the day before in the House of Representatives, Minister of Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus received a lot of criticism in the Senate because the cabinet left substantial loopholes in introducing the curfew.
After a long day of many debates, the government parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie and the opposition parties SP, GroenLinks, PvdA and the Otten Group agreed to the Grapperhaus bill.
The law will go into effect this weekend. The curfew is valid until the morning of March 3. On Tuesday, the cabinet will announce whether the curfew will be extended and whether there will be any relaxation.