The Senate is against a new extension of the temporary corona law. This means that the cabinet no longer has a legal basis for announcing restrictive measures, such as wearing face masks or keeping a distance.
In the debate on the fifth extension of the temporary law, 40 of the 75 senators already announced on Tuesday that they would vote against in the official vote. That vote will take place on Tuesday evening.
The opposition thinks the law is no longer necessary now that the number of new corona infections is not large. The coalition does not have a majority in the Senate.
The Temporary COVID-19 Measures Act (Twm) was created at the beginning of the corona crisis to provide a legal basis for corona measures. The law must be renewed every three months and now officially runs until June 1.
Although the coalition is also extremely critical of a new extension, it would like to have a law in place if the corona virus revives and new measures are needed. “I would rather have a temporary law than that we have to fall back on emergency ordinances or an emergency law,” said Maarten Verkerk of the ChristenUnie.
Entire Senate critical of the cabinet
The entire Senate believes that the cabinet should have started revising the Public Health Act (Wpg) much earlier. This law must structurally regulate which restrictive measures the cabinet may take in the event of a pandemic, such as corona.
Minister Ernst Kuipers (Public Health) will present an amendment to the Wpg before 1 September. Only after the amendment of the law has been ratified by the House of Representatives and the Senate will there again be a legal basis for the cabinet to take restrictive measures.
The cabinet can fall back on emergency ordinances or on an emergency law, which must be dealt with urgently by both Houses.