The Dutch royal family broke off their holidays in Greece and returned to the country. The journey on which the monarch with his wife and children set off has been met with widespread criticism in the country in connection with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. New restrictions were announced this week in the Netherlands.
Over 220,000 coronavirus infections have been detected in the Netherlands since the outbreak began. New restrictions apply from Wednesday, including bars and eateries have been closed for four weeks.
Greek royal family vacation interrupted
King William-Alexander and Queen Maxima flew with their daughters to Greece on Friday, and returned on Saturday evening. The royal family traveled by a government plane and did not break any restrictions, yet her departure at that moment was perceived as tactless and subjected to severe criticism.
After the monarch’s return with his family, late Saturday evening, the palace issued a statement: “We do not want to leave any doubts about this matter: in order to control COVID-19, it is necessary to adhere to restrictions. The discussion about our vacation does not contribute to it.”
Royal family of the Netherlands
Wilhelm-Alexander was crowned in 2013. The king does not play a formal role in the day-to-day governance of the Netherlands, but there is a ministry headed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte himself, called the Ministry of General Affairs, responsible for what the royal family officially says and does.
This is not the first time that a king and queen have sparked a wave of criticism over their behavior during an epidemic. In August, also during their stay in Greece, they broke the social distancing recommendation in a restaurant.
Coronavirus in the Netherlands
According to the data released on Saturday, 8,114 new coronavirus infections have been diagnosed in the Netherlands per day, the largest number since the beginning of the epidemic. 29 infected people died. Since the start of the pandemic, 220,052 coronavirus infections have been detected nationwide, 2,950 of which have resulted in the death of patients.
According to the data of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), in terms of new cases of coronavirus infection per 100,000 inhabitants, the Netherlands (485.49) is the third in Europe – after the Czech Republic (770.54) and Belgium (605.39 ).
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / PHIL NIJHUIS