Coronavirus law can't be extended much longer: Council of State
The Netherlands is approaching the moment when the Cabinet can no longer extend the law that regulates the coronavirus measures, said the Council of State in new advice.
The Temporary Covid-19 Measures Act (Twm) is the legal basis for the coronavirus measures and must be extended every three months. It will run until at least March 1, but the Cabinet already indicated it wants to extend it until June 1.
The Council of State understands the most recent extension but also asks when the situation will no longer be considered a crisis. "The question is when is there still an 'immediate threat' and at what point the current crisis will turn into a (more or less) normal situation."
Support for the measures is declining, the Council noted. In addition, measures have recently been scaled down quickly and extensively. "Due to these developments, the moment at which (a large part of) this law can no longer reasonably be extended is gradually approaching."
According to the Council, the Public Health Act must be amended "as soon as possible" so that the Twm is no longer necessary.
Earlier this month, parliament decided to take more control of the procedure for extending the law. Previously, parliament could only approve an extension of the Twm after the fact. In the future, both parliament and the Senate must give their prior approval. This new procedure does not yet apply for the intended extension until June 1.
Reporting by ANP.