Rijksoverheid: avondklok extended due to possible new wave of infections
The avondklok in the Netherlands will be extended until 04:30 on Wednesday 3 March. The Rijksoverheid believes this is necessary because new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus are gaining ground in the Netherlands – potentially leading to a new wave of infections. The other lockdown regulations will continue as previously indicated in the press conference that took place on Tuesday 2 February.
The aim of the lockdown is to ensure that as few people as possible meet each other physically. The fewer encounters, the fewer infections. In this way, Rijksoverheid is trying to ensure that the hospitals have beds available for corona patients and regular care in the coming months.
During the avondklok, it is compulsory for all residents in the Netherlands to stay indoors between 21:00 and 04:30. It is forbidden to be on the street without a valid reason. If it is necessary for residents to go out, they must carry a completed 'Eigen verklaring avondklok' form with them. If it is necessary for residents to go out for work, they must also show an employer's statement. In some cases a form is not necessary. More information can be found in English at the Rijksoverheid's www.government.nl website.
More than 95% of the Dutch population respects the avondklok. The introduction of the avondklok and the restriction of visits to a maximum of one person per day have combined to reduce the spread of the virus. Research shows that the reproduction rate (R-number) has decreased by about 10%.
On Tuesday 23 February, the Kabinet will decide whether the regulations of the current lockdown and avondklok will be adjusted. The avondklok will be lifted earlier than 3 March if the developments surrounding the virus give reason to do so.
It is clear that the coronavirus and the regulations that have been taken against it have a major impact on people's social and mental well-being and on their lifestyle. The government is currently working on a broad package of measures to limit damage in risk groups. Broadly speaking, the following are being considered:
Local and national activities to improve the well-being of young people.
Initiatives to support adults in a vulnerable position.
An extra impulse to help residents in the Netherlands develop a healthy lifestyle.
With this support package, the Kabinet wants to link up as much as possible with existing initiatives by municipalities, national and local organisations, volunteers and cultural entrepreneurs. In the short term, the Kabinet will present a further elaboration of the package.