Faced with a very real Omicron wave but without very destabilizing effect on the hospital system, the authorities first decide to reopen schools and non-essential stores.
According to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, it is “an important step but a responsible risk” that his government adopted by announcing, Friday, January 14, a partial death that should come into force on Saturday.
The so-called non-essential stores, closed since December 19, will be able to reopen their doors until 17 hours, provided they limit the number of people present and to impose the distance and the port of the mask. Only food stores, pharmacies and supermarkets had been allowed to remain open after decisions adopted to avoid a strong increase in CVIV-19 cases at the end of the year holidays.
As of Monday, January 17, all schools will be allowed to organize the face-to-face courses again. It was one of the priorities of the new government, while many young people say they are suffering from their isolation and that the suicide rate among them climbed by 15% last year.
Non-medical contact trades, hairdressers and sex workers will also be able to resume their activities. The practice of sports, indoors and outdoors, will be possible again, with however access to the rooms limited to the carriers of a health care and the ban on collecting the public.
Home visits will be allowed for four people over 13 years old. The Netherlands authorities advise limiting to the same number of individuals outdoor gatherings. The port of the surgical mask is strongly recommended in the public space and at the workplace. Finally, the healed people of COVID-19, recently contaminated but not having symptoms or having received a third dose of vaccine for at least one week (half of the 86% of Dutch vaccinated) will no longer have to observe quarantine. They have been in contact with an infected person.
So far, about ten days were imposed on those with a loved one had been contaminated. If they exert a crucial function and do not have symptoms, they will now be able to work on a daily self-test, and a PCR test after five days.
Cafes, Restaurants and Culture will have to wait
Two sectors will have to wait until January 25, at least, to hope to benefit from a lifting of restrictions: cafes and restaurants on one side, the culture of the other. Dance lessons and music classes are possible again but theaters, cinemas, museums and theaters must keep closed doors. “I fully understand that it is judged that unfair but we can not do everything at the same time,” said Rutte, with the new Minister of Health, Ernst Kuipers, a doctor who led the national network intensive care. It was impossible, explained the two responsible, to allow, at once, the recovery of all contacts.
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