Tuesday 19 October 2021

Ministers ‘more optimistic’ about relaxing coronavirus rules on April 28: NOS

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Ministers are said to be ‘more positive’ about the likelihood of opening pavement cafes and abolishing the curfew from April 28, sources in The Hague have told broadcaster NOS and the Telegraaf newspaper after Sunday’s cabinet talks.

Ministers are waiting for the infection rates for Monday and Tuesday before taking a decision but say developments are more promising than expected, NOS said.

Prime minister Mark Rutte and health minister Hugo de Jonge are due to hold a press conference on Tuesday evening to outline the latest situation.

Last week they outlined a five stage plan for reopening society. Stage one involves opening cafe terraces, ending the curfew, giving shops more options to open and allowing people to have two visitors to their home.

However, the decision on whether or not the appropriate moment has been reached will be taken on the basis of daily infections plus hospital and intensive care admissions. The vaccination rate – currently 4.4 million doses have been administered – will also have a role.

This weekend, the number of new coronavirus cases has risen slightly, with 8,336 new registrations on Saturday and 8,600 on Sunday. The average over the past seven says is now 7,633 but the impact of IT problems with reporting earlier in the week may still be being felt, news website Nu.nl said.

On Sunday, hospital admissions were virtually unchanged again, in line with developments over the past two weeks.

Prime minister Mark Rutte said last week that people should not get their hopes up about a relaxation of the rules on April 28.

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