Curfew extended to March 23; High schools, hairdressers to reopen: Report
The mandatory nightly curfew in the Netherlands will be extended for three more weeks, with a possible end date of March 23, government sources told broadcaster NOS, newswire ANP and newspaper AD. The decision was made during a Sunday meeting with the outgoing prime minister, Mark Rutte, several members of the caretaker Cabinet, and representatives of the Outbreak Management Team.
It was likely to be announced by Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge at a press conference on Tuesday evening. Officially, the final decision on relaxing the curfew and loosening other restrictions will be made on the morning of the media event, and measures could be implemented again if coronavirus infection figures take a turn for the worse.
Hairdressers, in-store shopping could restart
By lengthening the curfew the government felt more comfortable opening other aspects of society, NOS reported. Hair salons will be given permission to reopen beginning on March 2 to clients who make an appointment and state that they have no symptoms of Covid-19.
The businesses will also be limited in terms of the number of people allowed in a space at one time, AD said. Face masks will also be required at the companies.
Those who prefer shopping at a store instead of online may also be allowed to visit a shop by appointment, NOS said.
Secondary schools will open back up for physical classes as of March 1, and possibly higher vocation education will, too. The Cabinet was considering a plan where students will be divided so that only half of students will be present in classrooms for in-person lessons, with groups alternating on schedule, AD reported.
According to NOS, secondary school students would like be in classrooms an equivalent of one and a half days per week. Secondary vocational education may be open just one day per week.
Dozens of education organizations, healthcare advisories, and non-governmental organizations said last week it was critically important that secondary school students get a chance to re-enter the classroom. This was as much about improving their mental health as it was about giving them improved learning opportunities.