Relax lockdown to allow more outside activities first, mayors saqy
The Security Council, the council of the mayors that head the 25 security regions, advised the government to first allow more outside activities if they relax the coronavirus lockdown. "Outside is more corona-proof," Hubert Bruls, Security Council Chairman and mayor of Nijmegen, said after their weekly meeting on Monday, NU.nl reports.
As spring approaches and the days get longer and warmer, people are more likely to go outside. "They long to go out. That's going to happen. So take the right measures," Bruls said.
He acknowledged that the government is facing a difficult dilemma. "We are at a fork in the road. With the threat of mutations, there is little room for relaxation. The virus seems to be flaring up again. If you take the Outbreak Management Team advice very strictly, we cannot relax now," he said. But there is a great social need for the lockdown to be eased. "As mayors, we hear that every day."
The most important thing is to make sure that measures against the spread of the coronavirus are persistent and logical, Bruls said. "Don't just conjure up measures at random. They really have to be easy to explain. And then we say that it is now smarter to invest in the outdoors."
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security also acknowledged the dilemma the Netherlands is facing. "Things are really not going well yet with the infections and the beds in intensive care. We see the figures in the neighboring countries rise again due to infectious mutants. On the other hand, it is difficult to maintain. We really see that. People crave for perspective, more space," the Minister said after meeting with the Security Council.
Prime Minster Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge will give a press conference on Tuesday evening to update the population on the state of affairs around the coronavirus. The expectation is that they will relax a few measures. Sources told Dutch media that secondary schools and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen, and non-essential stores will be allowed to open for shopping on appointment.