Netherlands hopes to implement Openingsplan from 28 April
The Netherlands' Premier Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge from Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport gave a press conference in Den Haag this evening to announce their plans for a cautious 'Openingsplan', a step-by-step reopening of locations and gradual relaxation of regulations which were set in place to slow the spread of the corona virus across the country. The Kabinet hopes that if the number of hospital admissions allows, this plan can begin to be implemented from Wednesday 28 April.
"We are at an extraordinary juncture [in the pandemic]. Infections of the corona virus are still increasing. There are still too many people in hospital with corona. On the other hand, more and more people are being vaccinated at a fast pace. The expectation is that in a few weeks' time there will be far fewer people in hospital with corona. We long for a society without corona, and more and more can be done with toegangstesten.
The government has therefore drawn up an Openingsplan. The safe opening of society goes step by step. This is only possible if fewer people are admitted to hospital with corona. It is also important that everyone sticks to the basic rules. Washing hands, maintaining distance, staying at home and testing in case of symptoms prevents infections. In this way, more can be done faster.
The first step in the Openingsplan will be taken on 28 April at the earliest. Until then, the current regulations will remain in place.
However, BSO (after-school care) will reopen for all children on 19 April. For students in tertiary education, it still applies, as announced earlier, that students can follow lessons on location one day a week as of 26 April. This is only possible if the infection figures allow it.
Openingsplan: first step
In the first step of the Openingsplan:
• terraces and shops will be able to open under certain conditions;
• the avondklok (curfew) will be lifted; and
• residents will be allowed to receive two guests at home instead of just one.
This will only be possible at the earliest on 28 April and only if the number of hospital admissions of people with corona decreases significantly. On Tuesday 20 April it will decided whether this step can be taken on 28 April.
Openingsplan: next steps
The second step in the Openingsplan will be taken on 11 May at the earliest. By then, the number of new hospital admissions of corona patients must have dropped significantly further. Then, for example, more can be done in terms of sports. This is followed by the third step in which even more is allowed, such as the conditional opening of restaurants, cinemas and museums. These are still subject to a maximum number of guests or visitors. In the steps that follow, this number will be increased. Which measures will be released from when onwards, if the numbers allow, is also shown in the Openingsplan (head to the government.nl website for more information).
With toegangstesten (access tests), we hope to be able to make even more things possible in the near future. Pilots are currently underway to examine how toegangstesten can be used on a large scale in a safe and responsible manner. For example, at more locations and events. Where exactly this will take place is still being finalised.
Vaccination is an important step towards a society without the corona virus. According to the schedule, everyone aged 18 and over who wants to be vaccinated will have had their first injection by the beginning of July 2021.
Want to know when it is your turn?
Head over to the government.nl website to view the vaccination schedule for people who do not work in healthcare and the vaccination schedule for healthcare workers.
The basic rules help to prevent that you and others become infected with the corona virus, even for those who have been vaccinated.
To prevent infection, it remains important to do the following:
Wash your hands.
Good hygiene prevents the spread of virus particles. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Especially when you come home or when you visit someone. Touch your face as little as possible. Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Wear a face mask in enclosed public places. This prevents the corona virus from spreading.
Maintain 1.5 metres distance.
Also from family or friends. If people are physically close to each other, the corona virus can be passed on very quickly. Therefore, limit contact moments and avoid crowded places.
Do you have symptoms? Stay at home and arrange an appointment to get tested immediately, even if you have a mild cold such as a runny nose. Also stay at home until you have the test results. That way you can be sure that you are not infecting other people with the corona virus.
Want to know more about the data surrounding the corona virus situation in the Netherlands? Then take a look at the Corona Dashboard."