MPs question why the Netherlands lifts restrictions sooner than other countries
The Netherlands is the only country in the North Sea that still has the color red, yet restrictions are being relaxed faster than in neighboring countries, such as Germany, which is colored green.
Members of the Tweede Kamer stated they are concerned that coming out of the lockdown too fast will lead to a further spike in coronavirus cases. “I don’t understand why everything has to be loosened all at once”, PvdA MP, Attje Kuiken said, according to Het Parool.
On Friday, the Cabinet announced the loosening of the majority of coronavirus restrictions will be abolished. “Everything that is possible at 1.5 meters is allowed again”, Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated.
The Prime Minister was firm in his response that the Netherlands is not lifting restrictions too hastily with a short, “No, it is not early” during the Friday press conference.
Kuiken pointed out that Germany still maintained certain measures that will soon be discarded in the Netherlands, such as the face mask obligation in shops and public spaces. “Wouldn’t it be wiser to keep these for a while”, Kuiken wondered. In Belgium and France where coronavirus nfection numbers are lower than in the Netherlands more restrictions still apply as well. “We are the worst student in the classroom. Vaccination may be going well now, but still only 25 percent of the population has had their second shot”, Kuiken stated.
MP, Jan Paternotte, from the D66 party said he is happy that the restrictions have been lifted. “If the OMT said that lockdown measures are o longer necessary, you should lift them.” Nonetheless, Paternotte voiced his disapproval of letting go of the flight ban from high-risk areas in South America and India. Quarantine obligation applies to travelers from these areas, yet Paternotte said he believes the rule is not enforced sufficiently.
Peter Kwint, a MP from the SP emphasized that the lessons learned last year should not be forgotten. Dutch travelers often brought the virus back home with them and contact tracing fell short . “If you’re not careful, you’ll stumble into the finish line”, Kwint warned.