In the Netherlands, Mark Rutte advocates caution before starting deconfinement

The Liberal Prime Minister was slow to take the decision to confine his fellow citizens, but is now procrastinating to suspend this regime.

It’s on a grave and unusually solemn tone that the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, addressed to his compatriots on the evening of Tuesday, April 21, to warn them and, no doubt, to disappoint some of them, who hoped for the lifting of the containment measures planned, in principle, until April 28. Referring to “difficult compromises”, the liberal leader explained to them that it was better “caution now than regrets later” .

Most The rules in force will therefore be extended, and only nurseries and primary school will resume normally, or more or less. Advised by scientists from a Deconfinement Management Team (OMT), the government has, in fact, decided that primary school students will resume classes on May 11, half-time, sharing between the benches of the school and distance education. A decision that will undoubtedly be much discussed, but was justified at length by Jaap van Dissel, director of the national public health service.

He argued that the youngest children were the least likely to contract or to transmit the Covid-19. Colleges and high schools will only reopen their doors on June 2 and, again, for part-time courses. The teachers will be able to be tested and will, if necessary, be exempted from teaching.

For the rest, the Prime Minister, who, he says, measures “impatience” his compatriots, insisted: “The problem is that any easing carries a risk. “ That of a second wave of contamination that could overwhelm a hospital system already under ” gigantic pressure “. Restaurants and bars will therefore remain closed until at least May 19, such as theme parks, museums and zoos. Teleworking will have to remain the rule, and all major summer events will be banned, as well as sporting events, including those of the football championship.

“Société du Meter et demi”

Only the youngest will be able to resume training, under strict conditions. No question, either, of allowing regular visits to retirement homes – except for a well-identified relative – or going to the hairdresser. A visit to the dentist will, however, remain possible. One week before the end of the confinement period, the government will indicate whether these measures are lifted or, on the contrary, extended.