The Netherlands ends the strict CoV lockdown after almost four weeks and under strong pressure from entrepreneurs. But strict measures remain. Shops, hairdressers and sports clubs as well as universities are allowed to reopen from today. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced this evening in The Hague. Restaurants, museums, theaters and cinemas remain closed. Innkeepers and the cultural sector are outraged.
In view of the dramatically increasing number of infections, more sectors could not be opened at the same time, said Rutte. “Everything at the same time is not possible, the risk is too great.” At the end of the month there may be new easing.
“New phase of the pandemic”
Health Minister Ernst Kuipers spoke of a “new phase of the pandemic”. The need among citizens and entrepreneurs is great. “We have to learn to live with the virus.” However, the risk of the health system being overloaded remains high.
Resistance to the tough measures had increased sharply in the past few days. Innkeepers have already announced protests for today and wanted to open their cafes and restaurants despite the ban. They are often supported by mayors. Numerous shops and restaurants were already open yesterday in the southern town of Valkenburg near Aachen.