OMT tells Dutch government to introduce a short coronavirus lockdown
The latest advisory report published by the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) recommends that the Dutch government introduce “lockdown-like measures” in the Netherlands in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, NOS reports.
Could the Netherlands be headed towards another lockdown?
With the next coronavirus press conference taking place on Friday evening, many up and down the country had begun to wonder whether the Netherlands could once again be facing stricter measures and another winter lockdown. But this week, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge insisted no decisions had been made, and that the government was awaiting the OMT’s advice.
Published on Wednesday, the latest report from the OMT recommends a short lockdown of around two weeks, in which all events would be cancelled and cinemas and theatres closed. The medical experts have also suggested adjusting the opening times of bars and restaurants in introducing rules for maximum group sizes. Schools would remain open.
Following this mini lockdown, the OMT advises the introduction of restrictions for unvaccinated people. This would mean that the coronavirus certificate system would no longer work with proof of a negative test result, and that only proof of vaccination or recovery would be recognised. A similar system, dubbed the 2G rule, is already in place in Germany.
Next coronavirus press conference to take place on November 12
It is not yet clear whether the cabinet will follow the latest recommendations. The 2G rule has already met resistance in the Netherlands, as initially, some members of the OMT had said they didn’t see any value in introducing rules solely for the unvaccinated. Last week’s press conference also saw De Jonge dismiss the idea of restrictions for those who remain unvaccinated.
Sources from The Hague have confirmed to the NOS that the OMT feels these stricter lockdown measures cannot be avoided. The report also states that, if the government chooses to ignore this advice, then other long-term measures will be required.
In addition to this latest report, the cabinet has asked the OMT to issue advice on various other topics. Like last year, the government is considering a nationwide ban on fireworks for New Year’s Eve, in order to reduce pressure on the Dutch Healthcare System, and has asked the experts whether this rule is worthwhile.