POLLThe cabinet will take the next step in the relaxation plan from 25 September. The 1.5 meter distance rule will stop and an admission ticket is required in the catering industry, at events and in the cultural sector.
Tobias the Hartog
With that proof, some ‘security’ is built in, a kind of three-point seat belt. The face mask in public transport will also remain commonplace for a while, although that obligation will lapse in all other places. Nightclubs and discos will remain closed. The opening hours of the catering industry will not be extended yet: it will remain closed between 24.00 and 06.00 in the morning.
The decisions also allow events to be resumed. They may still be limited to maximum numbers of visitors, but they will have the same rules as in the cultural sector, so everything with QR codes.
The advice to work from home is becoming ‘milder’: in principle, working at the office will become the norm again, unless it is possible to work from home.
These are the results of the now traditional decision-making train: OMT advice on Friday, consultation in the Council of Ministers and – today – an informal decision in the Catshuis. The final decision will be made on Tuesday.
Although the 1.5 meter society may no longer be a practice, the step is also becoming a symbolic one. Since the promulgation of the distance rule in March 2020, the prescription has been the central standard in the ‘new normal’.
That does not mean that the cabinet will dare to celebrate an all too exuberant party on Tuesday, when there is another press conference.
Because the freedoms come with a safety belt: the corona ticket. At events, festivals, in the catering industry, in the cinema, at professional sports competitions in the theatre: the QR code becomes the entrance ticket, even if the meetings are with less than 75 people. So: being vaccinated, recovered or tested will become the norm.
The protests against that plan have been loud for weeks. The catering industry in particular fears declining numbers of visitors (just like in France and Italy), quite apart from the chaos or disagreement when checking the evidence.
A corona check in the catering industry is a good idea
- Yes, so safe for everyone (39%)
- No, it is not necessary because infections now often happen elsewhere and most people are vaccinated (59%)
- I don’t know (2%)
Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) will also have to fight for support in the House of Representatives, because an earlier proposal – to have people pay a personal contribution of 7.50 euros per test – has been thrown overboard. In the Senate there was by no means a majority in favor, in the House only VVD, CDA, D66 and the new, small Volt supported it.
But even with a free test, the criticism is not silenced. PVV, FvD and BBB will be heard loudly, and PvdA and ChristenUnie have already been critical. The hint of vaccination urges, coercion or at least a social divide are lurking, it sounds like.
Moreover, the criticism is that the cabinet is measuring with two standards: there is plenty of room for professional football matches and Formula 1 in Zandvoort, no theater performances with a fraction of those visitor numbers. The protest about this swelled on Saturday: according to the organization, 150,000 people gathered in ten different municipalities, under the guise of Unmute Us.
In the meantime, the Netherlands is also heading for a vaccination rate of about 85 percent – a high average, also seen worldwide. Nevertheless, De Jonge will argue for the necessity of the measures. Another 1.8 million Dutch people over the age of 18 have not built up any vaccinations or immunity. “That can put the broken and exhausted care back into work in the autumn. And she really can’t handle a peak in the number of hospital admissions anymore,” says De Jonge.
The cabinet is therefore looking closely at a country such as Denmark, which released all corona rules last Friday. Because every relaxation from September 25 will also be accompanied by a warning, such as the ‘small print’ with a purchase: if the virus gains ground again, measures can be imposed again.
Although the cabinet knows that the fatigue is great and the mutual patience between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people is being tested.
Watch our videos about the corona protests below:
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