Libraries can open next week after all, ministers agree

Credit: Alex Nicholls-Lee
Waiting outside the library last summer. Photo: Alex Nicholls-Lee

Libraries can open from May 19 as well, if the planned relaxation of the coronavirus rules goes ahead, prime minister Mark Rutte has confirmed.

MPs had argued it was wrong that people could visit a bookshop and buy a book, but not borrow one from the library, forcing a cabinet rethink.

However, ministers refuse to budge on the decision to keep restaurants, museums and other cultural institutions closed for a longer period, despite the apparent contradictions in policy.

‘Why is the Mauritshuis shut and Hennis & Maurits open?’ Labour MP Attie Kuiken said during Wednesday’s debate.

Prime minister Mark Rutte said he understood that people felt the plans were illogical, but told MPs ‘this is the maximum we can do’.

The government will decide on May 17 if the next round of changes in the coronavirus regulations will go ahead or not.

The government’s Outbreak Management Team has said that hospital admissions, including intensive care, must be down 20% this week in order for the changes to go ahead.

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