Ministers are set to start the curfew an hour later at 10pm from next Wednesday, sources have told broadcaster NOS ahead of Tuesday night’s press conference.
Local mayors had been concerned about the 9pm start time, given the clocks go forward this weekend and the evenings become longer. In addition, some officials called for the curfew to be pushed back because Ramadan starts in mid April and that could also be a complicating factor.
When the curfew was introduced two months ago, prime minister Mark Rutte was adamant that the curfew should start between 8pm and 9pm for maximum effectiveness.
It is unclear as yet if the delayed deadline will mean supermarkets can stay open longer, but the supermarket association CBL told news website Nu.nl it expects this will be the case.
However, this week’s increase in infections also make it unlikely any of the current coronavirus regulations can be relaxed as hoped.
Ministers had suggested that if the infection rate allowed it, café terraces could be opened again over the Easter weekend.
In addition, education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven has said that university and college students will not be able to attend physical classes until the end of April.
However, the health ministry has pledged to ramp up the vaccination rate this week. The rate will rise from 250,000 to 400,000 this week and again to 500,000 next week, officials say.
The government expects all adults in the Netherlands will have had at least one injection by the beginning of July.
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