The government decided today that all measures taken in the Netherlands to combat coronavirus will be extended until Tuesday 28 April inclusive. In the week before 28 April, the government will assess what measures are necessary in the period after that date. The government urges people to stay at home during the Easter weekend.
The extension means that sports facilities, establishments serving food and drink, childcare centres and other locations will remain closed until 28 April inclusive. Schools will remain closed until at least the end of the May school holidays. The ban on events still applies until 1 June.
Extending the measures was necessary in order to control the spread of coronavirus, protect people in vulnerable groups and ensure that healthcare professionals and hospitals can handle the great pressure they face. Before it can be said with certainty that the epidemic is under control and the measures can therefore be reconsidered, there must be sufficient evidence that the number of hospital admissions is falling and that intensive care units have the necessary capacity.
The Netherlands still has a long way to go. But we are headed in the right direction. The number of coronavirus patients is still increasing, but at a lower rate than it was several weeks ago, before any measures were announced. Anyone who currently has the virus is infecting fewer people on average than they would have been if no measures had been taken. This means that the measures are working. It will take several weeks before this translates into a fall in the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals. After all, there is a period of time between someone being infected, becoming ill and – in some cases – being admitted to hospital.
What is important now is that everyone in the Netherlands continues to follow the measures. The risk of infection is still high. Compliance with the measures is crucial. Together, we’ll get corona under control.