Saturday 06 June 2020

All eyes on Rutte as cabinet and experts plot next coronavirus moves

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Prime minister Mark Rutte will hold a press conference on Tuesday evening to outline the government’s latest position on combating the spread of coronavirus.

The prime minister is expected to say that secondary schools, cinemas, cafes and restaurants can re-open with limits on numbers, as outlined in the government’s road map two weeks ago.

The prime minister will also outline what measures the government is planning to take to boost testing and contact tracing – which is a key part of the plan to ease the Dutch ‘intelligent lockdown’ further.

Experts have called on the government to impose stricter rules on people who test positive for coronavirus when the lockdown rules are relaxed to prevent a second wave of infections.

Others have also claimed that local health boards will not be ready to test everyone with symptoms from June 1, as the government intends.

According to the AD, the government plans to launch a regional dashboard giving a region by region focus on hospital admissions, patient’s age, the number of tests carried out and the reproduction rate, or R number.

This will allow officials to pinpoint local outbreaks and take action to stop them, the paper said. Several other places, including Germany and Hong Kong, already use a variation on the dashboard.

Business

On Wednesday ministers are due to finalise the next package of support for employers. Sources have told the Telegraaf that the €4,000 payment to help firms meet their fixed costs will be replaced by a new programme which could be worth up to €20,000 over the next three months.

Payments would be made to companies which have lost at least 30% of their turnover, because of coronavirus.

Ministers are also expected to extend the current NOW regulation which helps firms pay wage for a further three months – with the new provision that firms can still make staff redundant.

According to some media sources, the government will also announce it has allocated tens of millions of euros to help workers retrain to fill vacancies in sectors which have not been as hard hit by the crisis.

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