Coronavirus rules unlikely to be relaxed significantly, OMT member warns


A key government advisor has told a television current affairs show that people should not expect the current coronavirus measures to be lifted significantly when they are reassessed next week.

Speaking on Nieuwsuur, infectious diseases expert and Outbreak Management Team member Marc Bonten said that the presence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus requires caution and that people ‘should not hope’ that the current lockdown will be lifted in its entirety.

Non-essential shops, museums, cafes and theatres were all closed the week before Christmas because of the surge in coronavirus cases. Cases have been rising slightly in recent days but the government has, nevertheless, decided that schools can reopen on January 10 as planned.

‘If there is room for any relaxation [in the rules] then I think the OMT will say “do it in small stages and see what happens”,’ Bonten said.

The OMT will meet on Friday to discuss the latest situation and next week ministers are due to decide if the lockdown measures should continue.


Meanwhile, the AD reported that almost 1,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus after enjoying a New Year skiing holiday in Austria.

The figures come from the public health institute RIVM and show a six-fold increase on the previous week, the AD said.

Hundreds of people rushed to Austria to ski ahead of the country’s decision to make a booster dose and negative PCR test compulsory for Dutch tourists.

The number of people testing positive after returning from Switzerland and Italy has also doubled, the paper said.

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