Organised event ban may continue to September, but will schools reopen?
With the government due to announce on April 21 if any of the current social distancing measures can be lifted, rumours abound about decisions which may already have been taken.
Prime minister Mark Rutte has already warned that any relaxation of the current rules, most of which run to April 28, will be extremely limited.
Documents seen by RTL Nieuws indicate that the ban on organised events, due to expire on June 1, is likely to continue until September. Earlier this week, the organisers said the Pride festivities at the end of July and early August have already been cancelled.
Other events on the summer festival calendar, such as Lowlands, the North Sea Jazz Festival and SAIL, the five-yearly nautical celebration, have not yet been scrapped or postponed.
According to the Parool, primary schools and daycare centres may open again after the May school holidays, which end on May 3 or May 10, depending on the region.
However, secondary schools are likely to remain shut because their role in spreading coronavirus is greater, the paper said.
Government advisors have told ministers that their simulations show that while opening primary schools and crèches may lead to more infections among children and their parents, the impact on intensive care services will be minimal.
However, the situation at secondary schools is different because their catchment areas are bigger and they have more of a role as a hub, the advisory committee says.
The public health institute RIVM is currently researching the way coronavirus is spread by children and is following 50 families as a research project. The institute hopes to be able to share its initial findings with ministers next week.
Education minister Arie Slob said earlier that the research project had to be completed before he could decide if schools should reopen.
Meanwhile, the mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Breda, Nijmegen and Utrecht have written to the prime minister urging him to take the social aspects of continuing the lockdown into account as well as virus control.
The current situation is increasing inequality between people and leading to social tensions as well as fears that domestic violence may rise, the mayors say in the letter, which has been seen by the Parool.
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