No hairdresser or social distancing changes this week, despite pressure for change

Photo: Brandon Hartley
Photo: Brandon Hartley

Ministers have no plans to relax social distancing rules in the coming week, despite MPs’ hopes that people in jobs requiring human contact will be able to start up again, broadcaster NOS has reported.

Ministers are meeting today to discuss the latest situation, but sources in The Hague have told NOS no changes are expected and no press conference has been scheduled for later in the day.

Hairdressers, physiotherapists and nail stylists have all been banned from working until at least May 20, but MPs said during last week’s debate they wanted this date brought forward, if enough masks and other protective equipment were available.

The government’s advisory team OMT is due to meet next Monday to discuss possible changes to the current ‘intelligent’ lockdown.

However, health minister Martin van Rijn says that as yet there are not enough face masks being produced to allow their use in non-healthcare sectors. ‘We do not yet have that luxury,’ the minister said.

Good job

Meanwhile, research by market bureau Ipsos for television current affairs show Nieuwsuur shows that 76% of people consider the government is doing a good job in combating coronavirus, although this is down from 81% five weeks ago.

Support for the public health institute RIVM has dropped from 88% to 78% over the same period, Nieuwsuur said.

Support is greatest for the ban on large events until September 1, with nearly nine in 10 people saying they back the measure.

But just under 50% of the 1,000 people polled for the survey agree that people in contact professions should not be able to do their jobs.

There is also declining support for the ban on visits to nursing homes, with just 57% of the over 55s supporting the government line. Officials are due to start allowing visits to some homes from May 11, if sufficient protective equipment is available.

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