MPs to debate bringing back ‘work from home’ rule after infections rise
MPs will consider reimposing the ‘work from home’ rule when parliament reconvenes to debate the surge in coronavirus cases since restrictions were loosened on June 26.
Outgoing coalition partner D66 is expected to propose restoring the rule, which was dropped two weeks ago after 18 months as infections fell to around 500 a day.
But with infections now running at an average of more than 7,000 and nearly 15% of tests giving a positive result, MPs are calling on the government to tighten the rules again further. The left-wing parties PvdA, SP and GroenLinks all back D66’s stance.
Ministers have admitted that they were too hasty in relaxing the coronavirus rules just as the more infectious Delta variant became the dominant strain and most people, particularly the under-40 age group, are still not fully vaccinated.
Around 40% of recent infections have been traced to venues such as bars and nightclubs, which reopened on June 26 under the ‘test for entry’ system, which has now been suspended until mid-August.
PvdA MP Attje Kuiken told RTL Nieuws that opposition parties warned the government not to scale back the restrictions so fast when they were announced in mid-June.
‘We were highly critical. It was all too fast and too broad. Why did we lift all the measures like working from home, nightclubs and face masks at the same time? Why not keep a finger on the pulse and release gradually?’
Kuiken also said face masks should be reintroduced in busy places such as hospitals where vulnerable people are more likely to be. ‘And the cabinet should update parliament weekly on developments concerning the virus.’
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