112 Apeldoorn – For the time being no relaxation, lockdown extended by three weeks

NETHERLANDS – The coronavirus infections are increasing. The number of corona patients in intensive care (ic) is on the rise. The third wave is starting to become visible. That is why the current package of measures is being extended. One measure will be slightly adjusted: from March 31st, the curfew will start an hour later; at 10 p.m. In addition, the government is looking at the use of self-tests in education. For higher education, the aim is for students to be able to attend classes on location 1 day a week again. This can be done on April 26 at the earliest.

Extension measures
All current measures will be extended until April 20. Another press conference will be held on April 13, which will discuss what is possible after April 20. If the figures show a positive picture earlier, then a measure can also be adjusted earlier. If the figures are disappointing, a measure can be tightened earlier.

The travel advice will be extended until May 15th
This means: stay in the Netherlands. Do not travel abroad until May 15, unless strictly necessary. This also applies to the May holidays.

In April, the cabinet will start trial trips abroad together with the travel and transport sector. These provide insight into how we will soon be able to go on holiday safely and responsibly to other countries.

Minor adjustment of measure
Curfew
It stays light longer and longer. That is why the curfew will start an hour later from Wednesday 31 March. This means that from that moment on, everyone will stay indoors between 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. Shops that mainly sell food may then be open until 9.45 pm. This applies, for example, to supermarkets and pick-up locations for food and beverage outlets.

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Testing
Corona self-tests are expected to be available from mid-April. This means that risk-oriented and preventive testing can be done in education.

The cabinet wants students in higher education to be able to take lessons on location again as soon as possible. This can be done on April 26 at the earliest. This is only possible if the contamination figures allow it and if the educational institutions can offer the students a self-test.

Access testing
In other places, the use of access tests will make more possible. Before an event or activity starts, a test must be done. In case of a negative result, someone gets access. This can be shown via an app. Provided the corona figures allow this, tests will be carried out in the coming period at, for example, small-scale events and activities.

Hospitality and retail
During the previous press conference on March 8, it was said that terraces could open before Easter and that there would be more room for the retail trade. This was only possible under the strict conditions that the number of occupied IC beds would be stable and the reproduction number would remain around 1. Unfortunately that is not the case. There are now 623 people with corona on the ic. The reproduction number is 1.11. This number shows how quickly the virus is spreading. With a reproduction number of around 1, the number of infections remains approximately the same. Would you like to know more about these and other figures? Check out the corona dashboard.

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Vaccination
Vaccination is an important step towards a society without corona measures. It is expected that much more will be possible from the beginning of June, because a large group of people will have been vaccinated by then. According to the plan, in July 2021 everyone from the age of 18 who wants to be vaccinated will have had a first injection.

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