Prime minister Mark Rutte and health minister Hugo de Jonge have called a new press conference for Tuesday evening, at which they are expected to issue a new warning about keeping social distancing rules.
Sources have told broadcaster NOS that the prime minister will address the continuing rise in coronavirus infections in the Netherlands and will warn that more measures will be introduced if people do not stick to the current guidelines.
The last press conference was two weeks ago, and came against a backdrop of mounting concern about the spread of the virus, particularly in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
Both cities have now introduced face masks in busy places, but the rules have been widely flouted, particularly in Amsterdam’s red light district.
This weekend, street wardens were forced to close some streets for a time because so many people were ignoring the guidelines and social distancing was impossible.
Locals, meanwhile, are furious that the red light district has again been taken over by tourists who are refusing to wear masks. ‘I want to live here in safety,’ Ed Huijg (71) told the Parool. ‘This is my neighbourhood.’
According to Nu.nl, more local measures are likely in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and West-Brabant, where the number of cases is rising more quickly.
The public health institute RIVM will publish its latest weekly round-up early on Tuesday afternoon. The previous week saw 4,036 new COVID-19 infections, an increase of 56% on the week earlier period.
In addition, the government’s strategy for keeping coronavirus under control has been slammed by MPs from across the political spectrum, as well as some health experts, who say it is chaotic and undermining public confidence.
In particular, De Jonge was forced to backtrack on his plans to introduce compulsory quarantine for people arriving in the Netherlands from risky countries, and for people who come up as potential carriers of coronavirus in contact tracing probes.
DutchNews.nl will tweet live from the press conference, which starts at 7pm and is being broadcast on NPO 1.