Social distancing mandatory in NL from today
It is again mandatory to keep 1.5 meters away from other people. The Cabinet reintroduced the measure, which was scrapped at the end of September, due to the still increasing number of coronavirus infections. On Tuesday, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) reported 153,957 positive coronavirus tests in seven days. A week earlier, 110,000 infections were discovered.
Social distancing does not apply to people who belong to one household. Keeping a distance is also not mandatory in places like the cinema or restaurant where a coronavirus access pass has to be shown. The measure does not apply to higher and secondary vocational education, nor to sports and other hobbies where keeping a distance is not possible. In most cases, face masks are compulsory for contact professions like hairdressers, physiotherapists, and driving lessons. In shops, people must keep 1.5 meters apart and wear a face mask.
Most Ministers involved in the coronavirus file will meet again on Wednesday. They may discuss whether the coronavirus press conference scheduled for 3 December will be brought forward. To prevent even more strict measures from being taken next week, caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte again called on everyone on Monday to better comply with the basic measures such as staying at home and getting tested if you have symptoms, ventilating areas well, and washing hands regularly.
The Outbreak Management Team agrees that sticking to the basic measures is crucial to reducing the number of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. But some on the expert team worry that this is no longer enough to turn the tide.
ICU expert Diederik Gommers said that the Cabinet must consider a hard lockdown because hospitals quickly approach "code black."
Medical microbiologist Marc Bonten did not say which measures needed to be taken but did say that the politicians need to make hard decisions to prevent a months-long lockdown. According to him,there are only two options: get more people vaccinated, or introduce harsher measures.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.