COVID-19 update | Lockdown until (at least) 19th of January
Corona news uptdate 14 December 2020
– Written by Bart Swinkels –
So, here we go: the Netherlands in a real lockdown at last.
Most of this is the essence of the speech Mark Rutte just held. Not exactly cited, but paraphrased and shortened
The crossroads we stood on past week has now long been passed: we took the wrong direction. The Netherlands will be on lockdown for at least five weeks. All places on which many people gather will be closed down, in order to limit everyone’s contacts to a minimum. The Cabinet is well aware of the far-reaching consequences of these decisions. Especially in the month of December, when the need for social contact is enormous, it hurts to do this. Please keep your peers in mind this Christmas and reach out to them – just not physically.
The infection rates are way too high. Weekly, we now see approximately 60 deaths, and 9000 new infections. In hospitals, case rates are also going up. Hospitalisation rates are higher now then they were in spring. Over one million regular treatments in hospitals were postponed. We’re at a breaking point for healthcare workers,
Around 30.000 people have been hospitalized, 6000 of which on intensive care. Most of these were younger than 50 (in 3:1 ratio when compared to 80+). These people still suffer the consequences of Covid, even now they are back at home and getting back healthy.
That is why. There is no choice than to take draconic measures to decrease contacts between people. These measurers are difficult and everyone is entitled to their discussion. Sure, some places have done well and not at all contributed to the infection rate. However, we need to take the final and ultimate step to limit interactions. For and by everyone. But with the vaccine on its way, eventually, 2021 will be a year of hope and somewhat more positive foresights.
So far for Mark Rutte’s speech. These are the measures that have been announced and that will start at midnight and apply until January 19th, with further announcements on January 12th.
Digital education is the norm, from primary education to universities.
As in spring, children’s daycare will be closed down – exception made for children of essential workers
All stores not for essential goods will be closed down.
Only supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, gas stations and pharmacies remain open.
Markets, hardware stores, clothing stores, everything else will be closed down, but where possible pick-up might remain
In terms of financial burden for shopowners, will get compensated as in the NOW compensation.
On contact jobs
Non-medical jobs in which physical contact happens, such as hairdressers or tattooshops will have to close down.
Medical contact jobs, such as physiotherapists or dentists may continue.
On public places
These are all closed. This includes places such as theatres, cinemas, casinos, saunas, zoos, amusement parks, and swimming pools.
Hotels may remain open but not serve any food
Libraries will close, but book pickups remain possible. For University Libraries, expect an update from your University soon.
Banks, governmental buildings, religious locations, funeral locations will remain open
On visitors and groups
There is a strong recommendation to only have 2 guests over per day
On Christmas (Dec. 24th-26th) this will be 3 guests.
Do respect the 1,5m distance when visiting
Outdoor groups are also limited to two, unless you’re out with your family.
Gyms, swimming pools and other indoor sports locations will close
Outdoor facilities remain open, but only for 18-.
For 18+, there are no group activities or trainings.
Once again the strong recommendation to stay at home. Carefully consider whether your trip is essential.
Not-necessary flights abroad are strongly recommended against until half March!
The PCR-test for entry could change, looking into that.
Public transport only continues for essential travels.
Work. From. Home. Although it is difficult and challenging, we simply háve to reduce how many people work at offices. Employers should facilitate this.
This overview is far from complete yet, but does tell you the headlines. I will dive in on the Government website and will have a more extensive and elaborate update for you later tonight.
During the press conference, there were some demonstrations outside of Mark Rutte’s office. I understand if you feel frustrated by both the measures but also by these protests. It is however what it is. I’m always here to answer your questions, but will not engage in discussions here or in private messages.
If you have any questions about the measures, please do let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org! It might take a bit longer for me to respond, as I am gathering the information for a more detailed update! Stay healthy and stay safe people <3