Further Covid restriction cuts only possible if rules are followed: Dutch PM
Whether the Cabinet can relax additional coronavirus restrictions in the coming weeks depends on "three essential factors." The Cabinet is waiting for more clarity on the risks of infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the pressure on hospitals, and to which extent people adhere to the rules and protocols that are in place. That said Prime Minister Mark Rutte during a parliamentary debate on the coronavirus.
Before the relaxations that took effect on Wednesday, the involved sectors committed to properly complying with the rules that remain in force, Rutte said. Ministers Conry Helder (Sport), Micky Adriaansens (Economic Affairs), and State Secretary Gunay Uslu (Culture) discussed this with them. According to Rutte, the Cabinet is taking "a risk" in this area because compliance is "the most important thing" for relaxation. "It will be very decisive whether this actually happens."
In two or three weeks, Rutte hopes that more will be known about the risk of an Omicron infection leading to hospitalization, thus increasing pressure on healthcare. "Then we'll also know whether it is indeed possible to sit in the catering industry. One and a half meters. Yes, sorry, unsociable. But it has to be done. Otherwise, we cannot open." According to the prime minister, the same applies to the face mask obligation in various places. He said he is confident that Netherlands residents will adhere to the rules, as is happening in countries like France and Austria. "That could also happen here."
Reporting by ANP.