Monday 21 September 2020

Pressure grows to reopen secondary schools, ministers to decide next week


The cabinet is working on further simplifying the rules for combatting coronavirus, but the 1.5 metre rule will remain, sources have told broadcaster RTL Nieuws.

The aim is to make the rules clearer and easier to understand, so that more companies and institutions can open their doors again, RTL said. However, the hygiene measures and social distancing will remain – both indoors and outside.

Primary schools and children’s sports activities have already been released from the 1.5 metre requirement and ministers have asked experts if this could also be applied to secondary schools.

The CNV teaching union has called on the government to allow secondary schools to open fully after the summer holidays in order to maintain teaching standards. And pressure is also growing from parents and school heads for change.

However, any relaxation of the rules would depend on the infection rate and hospital admissions remaining low, RTL said.

The government’s crisis management team is due to meet for the last time next Wednesday to decide if measures already announced for July 1 can go ahead.

These include allowing sports centres and gyms to reopen, and to allow up to 100 people in cinema and restaurants, provided social distancing can be observed.

Prime minister Mark Rutte will give a press conference on Wednesday evening, to outline what steps are to be taken.

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