Dutch experts request closure for all non-essential…

© Kees van de Veen

All non-essential sectors closed from 5pm to 5am. That is the core of the advice from experts to the Dutch government.

Niels Rigter

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The closing times would then apply to cafes, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, museums and non-essential shops such as clothing and furniture stores. This limitation also applies to non-essential service providers such as hairdressers and zoos.

The advisory body OMT wants to keep the schools open, given the scientific evidence of the damage that this would mean for the development of children. At the same time, the OMT recognizes that most infections occur among primary school children and their parents. It is not without reason that the OMT was ‘hopelessly divided’ about whether or not the schools should be closed, according to a member.


The most concerned ministers are currently meeting to discuss the measures to be taken. Because whether they should be there is no longer a question, said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge prior to the consultation. “There is no question that measures are needed, and that they will be firm. The hospitals can’t take it anymore. Nursing homes can’t take it anymore. Home care is no longer available. We may see next week that the current package of measures helps, but it is probably too little.”


The question is whether closing non-essential sectors earlier will cause the turnaround in the corona figures. The discussion within the government will mainly focus on whether or not the schools should be closed. There is also still discussion about further austerity of the advice for home visits. The cabinet will make a decision on Friday about measures to be taken, followed in the evening by a press conference by Prime Minister Rutte and De Jonge.



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