Coronavirus press conference: Restaurants and museums to reopen June 5
At the press conference on Friday, May 28, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that a handful of coronavirus restrictions would be lifted on Saturday, June 5.
Restaurants, museums, and cinemas to open June 5
As was hinted at this week, some restrictions will be eased from June 5:
- Indoor dining at bars and restaurants to open (reservations and health checks are mandatory)
- Extending opening times for the catering industry, including coffee shops (6am - 10pm)
- Sale of alcohol banned after 10pm (pushed back from 8pm)
- Cultural institutions such as theatres to open
- Indoor spaces such as museums, cinemas and casinos to open (nightclubs stay closed for the time being)
- More freedom for indoor and outdoor sports
- Receive max. four household guests per day (increased from two)
- When outside, max. group size of four (increased from two)
The above relaxations come under stage three of the government’s five-step plan for lifting lockdown. According to the plan, these restrictions should have been lifted on May 26. However, the Dutch government and Outbreak Management Team (OMT) were concerned about the high number of coronavirus patients being treated in Dutch hospitals, and so stage three was postponed.
For so-called flow locations (i.e. museums) the maximum of one person applies per 10 metres squared. For spaces where visitors / customers have a set seat (i.e. theatres) a maximum of 50 applies - this rule also applies to indoor and outdoor sports areas (i.e. gyms). Exceptions apply to halls and cultural institutions with (more than) 1.000 seats, where a maximum capacity of 250 people applies.
At gyms, changing rooms and shower areas will once again be allowed to open, and adults will not be required to maintain 1,5-metre distance for certain sports (such as judo).
Rutte said with these relaxations, the national lockdown was being brought to an end. The government will continue to review the measures and the coronavirus situation in the Netherlands over the coming weeks, with the next press conference scheduled for June 22.
Using access tests to reopen society
The cabinet has received the support of both the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) and the Senate (Eerste Kamer) for implementing the Temporary Test Certificates Act (Tijdelijke wet testbewijzen).
This means businesses, institutions, and events can ask customers / visitors to present a recent negative coronavirus test upon entry. However, it's important to note that access tests are by no means mandatory, but anywhere that chooses to make use of them will have no limits to the number of visitors / customers they can welcome (i.e. a cinema with 100 seats will be able to seat 100 people instead of just 50).
Delay to national vaccination campaign
De Jonge highlighted this week's news that a Janssen vaccine delivery expected at the end of June is likely to be delayed. He, therefore, said that his goal of having everyone at least partially vaccinated by the start of July no longer seemed realistic, but that he still planned on having everyone at least partially vaccinated by mid-July.