Some ministers pushing for quicker lockdown relaxations: Report
A number of Ministers in the Dutch cabinet want to also bring forward the next planned relaxation of coronavirus measures, from June 30 to June 25. This will include things like allowing events and extending the opening times of restaurants and bars. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge are hesitant to change the plans, the Telegraaf reported based on information from insiders.
This set of relaxations will allow events and competitive sports. The number of visitors you can receive at home will increase from four to eight. And the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings will increase from 50 to 100. Bars and restaurants will be allowed to stay open until midnight. These relaxations are set to be implemented on June 30. But according to the Telegraaf, some Cabinet members are pushing to bring that forward to June 25.
The cabinet is also considering lifting the remaining basic measures, like wearing face masks, social distancing, and maximum group sizes, earlier than planned. De Jonge recently said that these measures will likely be in place until early September. Though the cabinet is now looking at lifting them, maybe in steps, in mid-July, according to the newspaper.
The next step of relaxations will happen on Saturday, June 5. The government moved these relaxations forward from June 9. From Saturday, pubs will be allowed to open again until 10:00 p.m. Museums, cinemas, and theaters will be allowed a limited number of visitors. On Wednesday, Jaap van Dissel of public health institute RIVM told parliament that these relaxations aren't expected to have much of an effect on the number of Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations.
Some Ministers, De Jonge and Rutte in particular, are hesitant about leaving lockdown too quickly by bringing forward yet another set of relaxations, according to the Telegraaf. They're worried about the situation in the United Kingdom, where the coronavirus strain that first emerged in India is rapidly spreading despite a high vaccination coverage.