Hague: Despite rising cases of coronavirus, the new Dutch government has eased some of the current lockdown measures, allowing schools and non-essential shops to reopen while keeping cafes and restaurants closed.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte made the announcement by the fourth cabinet during his first press conference on Corona in The Hague on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
After the opening of primary and secondary schools on January 10, all educational institutions, including universities, can reopen from Saturday.
In addition, all restrictions on the game were lifted, although spectators are not allowed to watch.
Non-essential shops have also been allowed to reopen till 5 pm while essential stores till 8 pm. Businesses like hairdressers can also reopen their doors.
Rutte said the catering industry, event industry and cultural sector are yet to reopen, despite mounting social pressure to release all measures.
“I understand very well that after all these long months of closure and all efforts to open safely, it seems completely unfair,” he said. It is not possible to do all this at once.
The previous caretaker Dutch government introduced a lockdown from 19 December 2021, fearing an increase in cases of the Omicron variant in the country.
In this lockdown, only essential shops such as supermarkets, medical liaison businesses and car garages and non-essential shops and catering industries, restaurants, museums, theaters and zoos had to close their doors.
Ernst Kuipers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports, said, “In the last two weeks, we have seen that the number of infections has increased despite the lockdown.
Kuipers also announced the relaxation of quarantine rules.
People who have been cured of corona 8 weeks ago and those who have received a booster, third vaccination, no longer need to be quarantined if they have been in contact with an infected person.
The minister also announced the extension of wearing of face masks.
Wearing of face masks has been advised by the government where keeping a distance of 1.5 meters is not possible. This also applies to busy outdoor public places such as shopping streets.
Kuipers said, we are taking a step to reopen our country.
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