It may be “soft”, the partial re-containment that the Netherlands will experience for at least three weeks, from Saturday, November 13, looks like a cold shower for the Dutch viscerally attached to freedoms. The Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, himself agreed, Friday evening, during a televised intervention: it is “A very boring message” that he delivered to his fellow citizens.
But it was also, he insisted, an urgent and urgent appeal. With more than 16,000 daily contaminations recorded over the past two days, the kingdom was breaking its worst records of previous waves. And the pandemic management team, which advises the authorities, had issued a very clear warning on Thursday: it was urgent to act, because after the general easing of measures five weeks ago, the situation was deteriorating too much. quickly.
A high excess mortality (+ 600 deaths) recorded during the first week of November, more than 90,000 new infections in the space of a week, a number of hospitalizations hardly far removed from the worst times and a country colored in black on European maps … There was no longer any question of procrastinating for a resigning government which, even if it was divided on the extent of the response to be decreed, ended up lining up behind Mr. Rutte and his Minister of health, Hugo de Jonge.
Bars and restaurants closed at 8 p.m.
While outside, a few dozen demonstrators protested and lit Bengal fires, the head of government, the gloomy face, was recurring his decisions. Bars, restaurants and supermarkets will close at 8 p.m., shops deemed non-essential at 6 p.m. Teleworking is expected to be generalized again and, in sectors where it is impossible to implement, employers will soon be able to require the presentation of a health pass – which however requires a legislative change.
Home meetings should be limited to four people and quarantine generalized to an entire family if only one of its members tests positive. The obligatory distance of 1.5 meters makes its return to all places where the sanitary pass is not required. Major events will be limited to 1,250 people, with mandatory control of the pass and mandatory closing at 6 pm. In higher education, an audience may not have more than 75 students.
Establishment of a health pass
After some hesitation, authorities decided that theaters, cinemas and concert halls would not face further restrictions. Neither do the schools. Sports matches at all levels will, on the other hand, have to take place without an audience, which will undoubtedly be one of the most unpopular decisions: the national football team will indeed meet Norway on Tuesday 16 November, in Rotterdam, during a decisive meeting for his qualification for the next World Cup.
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Covid-19: the Netherlands reinstates partial containment