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Dutch government and OMT prepare for imminent coronavirus press conference

Dutch government and OMT prepare for imminent coronavirus press conference

Dutch government and OMT prepare for imminent coronavirus press conference

With the next coronavirus press conference fast approaching, the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has issued new advice for COVID-19 rules in schools in the Netherlands, and the government faces a delay to the next stage of relaxations.

OMT and Hugo de Jonge consider next stage of coronavirus measures

The latest advice from the OMT asks the cabinet to adjust the current rules for primary schools. With the school holidays now officially over, hundreds of schools have already been forced to resume online learning after coronavirus infections were reported among students. 

The OMT has therefore called on the government to relax this rule for primary schools from September 20, no longer requiring classes to be sent home after a child tests positive. “The simple fact that a child is positive is not enough reason to then send an entire class home," paediatrician Károly Illy told NOS Radio 1 Journaal. Instead, students should only be asked to isolate if they have come into close contact with the infected person.

In addition to amending the rules for schools, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge is considering using coronavirus certificates for museums, bars and restaurants. This would mean anyone entering a public space (where the 1,5-metre distance rule isn’t enforced) would have to present either proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a recent negative test. 

Relaxations of COVID-19 restrictions likely to be delayed

While the current relaxation date pencilled in by the Dutch government is September 20, sources in The Hague reported last week that this will likely have to be pushed back a few days. At the last press conference, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that, as long as the infection rate and the number of COVID-19 patients in Dutch hospitals remain “manageable,” some of the current restrictions would finally be lifted once and for all.

The numbers are looking good, but, in order to lift the 1,5-metre distance rule, an amendment must be made to the current law. Sources say the earliest this will happen is September 25, meaning the current relaxation date will have to be delayed.

Last month, Rutte highlighted November 1 as the date for the final stages of lifting restrictions (i.e. reopening nightclubs), however, it remains unclear whether a delay in September could also affect the final step.

Thousands protest coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands

While the Dutch government prepares to lift restrictions at the next press conference - set to take place next week - thousands took to the streets of Amsterdam on Sunday to protest the Netherlands’ coronavirus policy, wielding signs such as "QR goes too far" and "covid vaccine is poison."

Around 20.000 people are said to have been present at the march, including right-wing politicians Thierry Baudet and Wybren van Haga. Organisers claim the protest wasn’t just aimed at the current COVID-19 restrictions, but also the child benefit scandal, and national housing shortages. 

Victoria Séveno

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Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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deastman 22:38 | 10 September 2021

it''s great to know that people in NL can be as ignorant as those in the US...i underSTAND the impatience...everyone wanting badly for life to '''get back to normal'', but... i'm a retired nurse....i''m writing this to explain that, at least for a while, this IS the new normal...and it will take a while before we understand how to apPROACH what we once knew as normal... in the relatively short time that the pandemic has existed we've seen a number of mutations or, if you will, variants....here''s the thing...as long as the numbers hold, worldwide, this virus will remain prominent....we are, basically, mutation farms... some of you might be shaking your heads with doubt, but...i''ve been right, so far, about everything i've predicted about this occurrence since it was first made public by China... what i told close friends then was that it would be an unprecedented human event which will last years... i''m NOT saying give up in any way....just to have space for this to be true in your futures... rather than having expectations continually shattered... and it doesn''t matter that everyone''s vaccinated....has anyone read about what's happened/happening in israel? plus...we''re more mobile as a species than ever before in our history....all it take is one person getting on a plane to somewhere...or a train.... i''m not trying to panic anyone...i''m trying to prepare you for what the next years will look like unless some pharm company can actually get ahead of the mutations and find a way to extinguish this plague... best of luck and health to you and yours... sorry...i forgot to add that the vaccinated can be carriers....so, even with vax i.d. cards, it will still be spread in public places....as many of you already know, just because you''re vaxxed doesn''t mean you can''t get sick again OR from a mutated form....