MPs back plan to lift the curfew despite experts’ objections


MPs have thrown their weight behind the government’s plans to relax some of the coronavirus rules from April 28.

A majority gave the green light to the plan to allow pavement cafes limited opening hours from next week, and to end the curfew which was introduced on January 23.

Not all parties were in agreement. The Labour party (PvdA) had called on the government to delay the changes, citing the rise in hospital admissions and the concerns of healthcare professionals.

The government’s Outbreak Management Team, which advises on coronavirus strategy, was also opposed to the decision.

Prime minister Mark Rutte defended the plan to make changes from next week, saying that ‘enough’ had changed in the figures to make the risk acceptable.

‘We are going against the advice of the OMT because we consider it to be socially responsible as well,’ Rutte said. ‘The OMT wanted to wait until you could really see the drop, but we are going on the prognosis.’

On Thursday, the number of new coronavirus cases reached nearly 10,000, the highest figure since early January.

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