Sunday 25 October 2020

Support for government’s coronavirus strategy goes down, more want tough action


Support for the Dutch government’s coronavirus strategy continues to go down, with 66% saying the government should now introduce tougher measures, according to the latest monthly monitor by I&O Research.

In September, just 37% supported tougher measures. At the same time, the percentage of people who back making face masks compulsory in public places has grown from 36% to 65%, and four in 10 said they should also be required outdoors.

The cabinet has come under fire in recent days for its apparently chaotic approach to trying to stop a second wave, including a u-turn on the use of face masks but a refusal to make them compulsory.

The polls also shows general support for the government’s approach has gone down from 75% to 65%.

‘People are not writing the government’s policy off, but their patience is being tested,’ researcher Peter Kanne told Trouw. ‘They have watched the rules being changed but think the ‘urgent advice’ is not clear enough. They would rather have guidelines which everyone should stick too.’

No change

Prime minister Mark Rutte told broadcaster NOS on Tuesday that the government will not bring in any more rules to combat the spread of the virus until the beginning of next week at the earliest.

This is because it is still too early to see what impact last week’s measures – including 10pm closing for cafes and bars – will have on the numbers, Rutte said.

Reported coronavirus infections increased by 40% in the past week to 27,482 while the percentage of positive tests reached 9.1%, according to the latest figures by the public health agency RIVM.

On Wednesday and Thursday, MPs will hold two days of debate on new legislation aimed at anchoring measures such as social distancing in law.

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