SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands is stabilising but things are not going well in bars and cafes, prime minister Mark Rutte told an impromptu press conference on Monday afternoon.
Far too many bars are welcoming guests who don’t have a fixed seat and are not practicing social distancing, the prime minister told reporters in an update on the latest situation.
The number of coronavirus infections has surged to around 10,000 a day since June 26 when most of the rules were relaxed and some were then reimposed. And the prime minister again called on people to work at home unless there was no choice and to make sure that there is enough fresh air in homes, at work and in schools.
Nevertheless, he said the government’s Outbreak Management Team do not see the need to introduce any new measures at present, he said. The OMT is looking at the latest developments on a weekly basis over the summer.
Dark red Health minister Hugo de Jonge warned that the Netherlands will turn dark red completely on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s new map when it is published on Thursday.
Groningen turned dark red last week, but the rest of the country shifted from amber or green to red. That means that other EU countries can require people from the Netherlands to go into quarantine if they decide to visit, De Jonge said.
‘We are in talks with other countries to determine if this really is necessary, but in the end, it is up to other countries themselves,’ he said. The Dutch R or reproduction rate reached 2.91 at the beginning of July, the date the most recent calculation is based on.
This means every 100 infected people go on to infect a further 291.