January 15, 2021


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Central question about perspective at the Corona press conference

Central question about perspective at the Corona press conference

Photo: ANP

The big question at the press conference by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) on Tuesday will be what perspective they can offer the Netherlands. The fact that the current lockdown will be extended by three weeks was already leaked on Sunday. It is still unclear when the cabinet believes it can offer relief on the action.

The cabinet hopes that primary education can resume in two weeks, but that too is still surrounded by great uncertainty. For example, children may be much more susceptible to the UK variant of the Corona virus, which has also appeared in the Netherlands, than the original variant. The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) is currently investigating the virus mutation. The cabinet only wants to make a decision after advice from the OMT.

The 25 mayors, who together make up the Security Council, asked the cabinet on Monday evening to draw a picture of the future. “At the moment we support the lockdown, but it will come afterwards. People are longing for a different future ”, said the chairman of Nijmegen, chairman Hubert Bruls.

He believes the limit of what humans can tolerate is in sight. “The measures have an expiration date. Just look at the last weekend. The sun was shining and everyone is going out en masse. Before the lambs jump around in the pasture, there has to be a different perspective. “

Another question on the table is how the support packages will be expanded to help companies cope with financial problems. In particular, retailers such as clothing stores, which are not losing large seasonal stocks due to the lockdown, fear a financial setback.

Ministers Wopke Hoekstra (finance), Wouter Koolmees (social affairs) and Eric Wiebes (economics) are currently working on this. This includes the consideration of taking the fixed costs into account higher. The initiates believe that it can take until the end of the week for the new support plans to be finalized.