SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The cabinet is working on plans to reopen café and restaurant terraces from April 21 and to allow shops to open more fully, broadcasters NOS and RTL said on Wednesday, quoting sources in The Hague.
The curfew, introduced in January, could also be scrapped from that date, NOS said. Any relaxation of the rules depends on coronavirus infection rates, which have been dropping in recent days.
NOS says the measures were discussed by key members of the cabinet on Tuesday and were also raised in the regional safety board talks earlier in the week. A number of city mayors have publicly called on the government to open cafe terraces in a bid to improve crowd control as the Dutch head outside to enjoy the summer.
Other rule relaxations on the horizon include allowing universities and colleges to resume more normal teaching, and to expand the options for secondary schools and after school clubs.
The number of visitors to private homes many also be increased from one to two. The plans are now being looked at by government health experts in the Outbreak Management Team, NOS said, and the OMT will report back to the cabinet on Sunday.
The proposals form part of a five- or six-point schedule to fully reopen the Netherlands by the summer, RTL said. Prime minister Mark Rutte and Health minister Hugo de Jonge are due to give a press conference next Tuesday to outline the latest state of play.