First off, some great news: the European Medical Agency (EMA) has said that it safe to continue using the Janssen vaccine (Americans know it as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). We only have about 80,000 doses in storage however we’re expecting about 3 million in the coming months. Since AstraZeneca is facing delays, this can help the Netherlands achieve their goal of giving everyone 16 years and older their first vaccine by 1 July. Even better, we’re going to start using Janssen from tomorrow: Netherlands to start using Janssen Covid vaccine on Wednesday from nltimes.nl.
There was another Dutch press conference tonight with prime minister Mark Rutte and health minister Hugo de Jonge. Although corona cases are still high in the Netherlands and similar to the numbers in January, de Jonge stated that the Netherlands has more protection thanks to ongoing vaccinations. Therefore the government will move forward with step 1 of their plan to relax corona measures from 28 April. Of course, that date is deliberately chosen as 27 April is a holiday here in the Netherlands (King’s Day).
Read more about step 1 over at the Dutch government’s website (actually available in English right away, for once!). These rules will take force as of 28 April. For full details, check the link:
- the Dutch curfew from 23:00 to 04:30 will be abolished as of 04:30 on 28 April (again, the day after King’s Day – they are smart)
- you can now have a maximum of 2 visitors at home per day instead of 1
- outside restaurants terraces will be allowed to open from 12:00-18:00, with 1.5 meters distance
- No more than 2 people at the same table unless all customers are from the same household
- You are only allowed to go inside to pay, use the cloakroom or go to the bathroom. You must wear a face mask if you do.
- appointments for shopping are no longer required at non-essential stores, but there is still a maximum number of customers who can be inside based on the store size and you must wear a face mask
- Non-essential stores can be open from 06:00 to 20:00
- Essential stores can operate at their normal opening times
- general markets (aka outdoor markets) can now sell non-food items
- you can have up to 100 attendees for a funeral
The next step of the reopening plan will not occur before 11 May (think of things like being able to go to gyms inside, zoos opening, etc.).