Retailers baffled by leaked lockdown relaxations
Retailers are baffled by the leaked news that high schools and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen soon, but that shopping will only be allowed by appointment. It is perfectly safe to reopen non-essential stores on March 3, director Udo Delfgou of retailers' organization INretail said to NOS.
"We still don't find it clear why shops should not be able to open," Delfgou said. "Almost all of Europe agrees with us on that, in France and Belgium shops are open as usual."
If shopping by appointment is implemented, Deflgou hopes the government makes it "as spacious as possible". "So that you offer something to all entrepreneurs. And not only one-on-one, but also give shops that are bigger the option to use this. But it is second best, we think primarily that the shops should be able to open on March 3rd."
The national committee for school pupils LAKS is pleased that secondary schools will likely open next week, though exactly what that will look like is not yet clear. "We still have to wait for the final decision, but if it happens, we are very happy with it," chairman Nienke Luijckx said to NU.nl.
The leaders of left-wing parties GroenLinks and SP wants higher education to also reopen on March 1. According to GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver, at the start of this pandemic the elderly were the most vulnerable group. "But young people have also become vulnerable," he said to NOS referring to various studies and organizations raising concerns about young people's mental well-being in the lockdown.
SP leader Lilian Marijnissen wants compensation for young people. "For mental damage, but also financial damage," she said to the broadcaster.
The current lockdown measures are in effect until March 2. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge are expected to update the nation on the state of affairs around the coronavirus pandemic in a press conference on Tuesday.