A few months ago, the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte announced a “spoorboekje” or “roadmap” of coronavirus measures that would last until 1 September, with relaxation of certain rules every two to four weeks.
However, the government announced today that the rules could be adjusted sooner due to the situation improving faster than expected. Or maybe it was because the number of demonstrations and protestors was increasing fast. At any rate, what was supposed to be relaxed on 1 September will instead be relaxed on 1 July, for the most part.
Some highlights include:
- most important: continue keeping 1.5 meters distance at all times! (with a few exceptions)
- all seats are again available in trains, trams and buses, although face masks are still required due to being unable to keep 1.5 meters distance at all times
- public transportation is no longer only for essential travel, but riders are asked to avoid rush hour where possible
- gatherings can have unlimited participants provided everyone keeps 1.5 meters distance, they have a reservation and they are asked if they have any coronavirus symptoms before entering (if not, the limit is 250 outside and 100 inside)
- this includes movie theatres, restaurants, weddings, funerals, church services, etc.
- large festivals still require permits granted by the city council, so the expectation is that those will not occur before mid-August at the earliest
- fans are again allowed at sporting events, provided 1.5 meters distance is kept, but shouting and chanting are not allowed due to the risk of infection
- restaurants can add ‘plastic screens’ between tables where 1.5 meters distance can’t be kept. This also makes it easier for customers from two separate households to eat together, provided there is a screen between them.
- sport clubs, sport canines, casinos and saunas are allowed to open again (but not yet nightclubs or discos)
In other news:
- Dutch give green light for events, sports and sex – but 1.5 metres remains crucial from dutchews.nl. You might be wondering how 1.5 meters and sex work together – but in the case of sex workers, the rule is that the worker must ask the client about symptoms beforehand, without a distance requirement.
- Weekly Covid deaths in The Netherlands nearly halved; Two more revealed from nltimes.nl. We had 15 deaths in the last week, compared to 27 in the week prior. There are also three days (June 20, June 22, June 23) that do not yet have any reported deaths, although the death could be reported later.
- And for something completely different: Smelly durian fruit forces evacuation of Bavarian post office from theguardian.com. Marco, Roger and I watch Masterchef Australia every summer. This fruit is occasionally mentioned – and not in a good way. It is one of those ‘you either love it or you hate it’ type of foods.