257 mayors support call to change Dutch coronavirus policy
A total of 257 Dutch mayors support a call on the Cabinet to fundamentally review the coronavirus policy. They agree with an opinion piece that mayors Femke Halsema of Amsterdam and Paul Depla of Breda published in the Volkskrant last week, partly on behalf of some 30 colleagues, a spokesperson for Halsema said.
They wrote, among other things, that the ad hoc measures taken by the government place too great a burden on the local governments' endurance and trust. They called it "actually impossible, but also undesirable under the rule of law, to forcefully convince citizens of the correctness of measures through repression." According to the mayors, this leads to exhausted enforcers and a repressive government that stands against its own citizens.
The Cabinet will hold another press conference on Tuesday. The expectation is that they'll announce a relaxation of the coronavirus restrictions. Part of the Cabinet and experts, including RIVM director Jaap van Dissel, discussed the culture and events sectors' reopening on Monday. They also looked at whether spectators can be allowed at sports matches again.
The 25 mayors on the Security Council will meet again on Monday evening in Utrecht to discuss the coronavirus policy. The Council ordered an extra meeting on Friday to increase the pressure on the Cabinet about reopening the catering, events, and culture sectors. The mayors wanted the Cabinet to give details about this on Friday, but the Ministers decided to wait for new advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) and public health institute RIVM.
The Security Council warned on Friday that the coronavirus situation is becoming increasingly challenging to enforce. According to the Council, people no longer adhere to the rules, which are increasingly difficult to defend. The situation in neighboring countries also increases the pressure in the Netherlands because much more is allowed there with a coronavirus access pass. The mayors called on their residents to respect the rules so that enforcement remains reasonably possible.
Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz of Justice and Security will attend the meeting in Utrecht.
Reporting by ANP.