Fitness clubs and wellness centres, sports club canteens and casinos will be able to open on July 1 rather than September 1, if the Netherlands manages to keep coronavirus under control, prime minister Mark Rutte told a short press conference on Wednesday evening.
‘But the entire package will only go ahead if there is room to do so, and if we continue to keep to the social distancing rules,’ Rutte said. The decision to bring forward the opening of sports clubs was taken following talks with government advisors earlier in the day.
The government also hopes to be able to say more about the possibility to take foreign holidays next week, which is in itself a very complex issue, Rutte said.
‘But we don’t want the risk of spreading the virus in the Netherlands,’ he said. Foreign holidays will only be possible in ‘countries where the risk of picking up coronavirus is no higher than in the Netherlands,’ he said.
On June 1, cafes, restaurants, theatres and cinemas will be able to open their doors again, as long as they keep to social distancing rules, and everyone with symptoms will be able to have a test without first consulting their doctor.
‘The moves we are making on June 1 are considerable,’ Rutte said. ‘So it is very important that we keep to the rules and that means keeping 1.5 metres away from someone who is not part of your household.’
Work on developing an app to help in the tracking and tracing of contacts are continuing, health minister Hugo de Jonge said. He said he hopes to give more news about the progress next week.
De Jonge also said he is to hold talks with nursing homes to see if the rules on visitors can be further relaxed earlier than July 1 as currently planned.
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