Dutch government yet to decide on lifting restrictions next week
With another coronavirus press conference scheduled for Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with cabinet ministers and members of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) on Sunday to discuss potentially lifting a handful of restrictions from May 18. However, a final decision on the matter is yet to be made.
Zoos, theme parks and gyms could reopen on May 18
According to the five-step plan presented by Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge in April, zoos, theme parks and gyms should reopen on May 11, however last weekend the Dutch government decided the number of coronavirus patients in Dutch hospitals remained too high to justify any further relaxations, and postponed the decision to this week.
Rutte and De Jonge are therefore expected to announce at a press conference on Tuesday that zoos, theme parks and gyms will reopen on May 18. They may also adjust the enforced opening times for terraces, potentially allowing them to open at 10am or stay open until 8pm.
OMT to discuss coronavirus restrictions with cabinet on Tuesday
However, no concrete decision was made in The Hague on Sunday. Instead, experts said more research needed to be done in order to determine whether further relaxation could be justified. The government will only lift restrictions if the decrease in the number of coronavirus infections and hospitalisations continues.
On Sunday, the Netherlands reported 6.704 new coronavirus infections, 775 fewer than were reported on Saturday. According to data from the National Coordination Centre for Patient Distribution (LCPS), on Sunday there were a total of 2.435 coronavirus patients in hospitals across the Netherlands on May 9, 165 fewer than were reported on May 2.
Ministers and medical experts will meet once again on Tuesday to decide what should be done. The press conference is scheduled to take place at 7pm on May 11. At the press conference, Rutte and De Jonge are also expected to reveal the government’s travel advice for the summer.