Netherlands extending travel alerts to April 15; Child swim lessons to restart soon: Reports
The outgoing Dutch Cabinet is expected to extend its urgent appeal that the public avoid all unnecessary travel up to April 15 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Around that time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could reduce some regional travel warnings down to the Code Yellow level, which indicates that a risk exists and travelers need to pay attention to them, news wire ANP reported based on interviews with sources..
Currently, all countries are at either the heightened Code Orange level, or the most severe Code Red. Many of the regions placed under Code Red are at that risk level due to political instability or areas where residents of the Netherlands must exercise extreme caution, not necessarily because of health issues.
At a press conference on Monday evening, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge could divulge more about how the country’s coronavirus policy will affect the May vacation period and summer holiday planning. "We would love to say something about traveling abroad on Monday and when we can say something about the May holiday," Rutte told the Telegraaf newspaper during a meeting with editorial staff there.
The newspaper said that loosening up the travel policy could come with a new restriction requiring people to quarantine when they arrive back in the Netherlands. Cabinet members will discuss that plan later next week.
Youth swim lesson restart readied
Also during the press conference, Rutte and De Jonge could announce that children will be allowed to begin participating in swim lessons again, ANP reported. Swimming pools have been closed to the general public since the lockdown was tightened up in mid-December.
Ever since swim lessons were cancelled during the first wave of infections last spring, a growing number of swim safety experts have expressed concern over the increased risk of drownings. The approaching summer months has made this issue even more urgent, the Telegraaf said.
A previous leak on Saturday suggested that Rutte and De Jonge will announce few far-reaching changes to the coronavirus restrictions during their televised news conference, except for the extension of the curfew to March 30. However, they could announce that in three weeks cafe terraces will be allowed to reopen, higher education students could return to classrooms, and more people will be allowed to play outdoor team sports if the coronavirus infection figures and Covid-19 hospitalization statistics show signs of improvement.