Primary schools may close early due to Omicron variant: report
The caretaker Cabinet is considering closing primary schools for Christmas earlier than scheduled due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, sources close to the responsible Ministers said to NOS. They'll make a final decision on Tuesday.
The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) previously advised the Cabinet to start Christmas break a week early for schools to stop the spread of the coronavirus among school kids. But the Cabinet always said it is committed to keeping schools open. Both Ministers Arie Slob for Education and Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said that a week less school is not desirable given the learning delays children sustained during the pandemic.
But due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the Cabinet again asked the OMT for advice. "Of course, you want to keep the schools open, but you will always have to act according to the situation at that moment," De Jonge said on Monday afternoon. The current situation is very worrying, he added.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and De Jonge will hold a press conference on Tuesday evening to explain what the coronavirus restrictions will look like over the holiday season.
The number of daily coronavirus infections in the Netherlands has started falling, but pressure on hospitals is still high. Most hospitals are still unable to provide all their scheduled care.