Most Dutch coronavirus measures to be lifted from February 18
On Thursday evening, the Dutch government confirmed reports that it planned to relax a number of national coronavirus restrictions at next Tuesday’s press conference. A statement published to the government’s website briefly outlined its proposed next steps, saying they should come into effect on Friday, February 18, 2022. Th Dutch cabinet wants to extend opening hours for catering establishments and lift most of the other current coronavirus measures among which the 1,5-meter distancing rule and mandatory seats.
Various COVID-19 rules likely to be lifted in the Netherlands
Under the current restrictions, restaurants, cafés, and pubs must close at 10 PM. But as the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals goes down, the cabinet wants to allow establishments to close at a later time, reports the NOS. The new closing time hasn’t been confirmed yet, but insiders tell that discussions are made about 11 PM, midnight, and 1 AM.
No more 1.5-metre distancing and mandatory seats
In addition, the Dutch cabinet is open to relax both the mandatory and the rule that customers must be seated.
More visitors at home
Next to relaxations for horeca, the work-from-home advice will most likely be lifted and citizens will be allowed to receive more than four visitors at home again.
Still Coronavirus pass
The coronavirus entry pass isn’t set to be abolished just yet. The cabinet does want venues that fall under 3G rules to be able to admit an increased number of visitors. At events and venues for up to 500 people, visitors would no longer be required to maintain 1,5-metre distance or be assigned a fixed seat. For larger venues, fixed seating would remain mandatory, but the 1,5-metre distance rule would also be lifted.
Kuipers writes that keeping 3G rules in place means “the distance rule, fixed seating rule, and mask mandate can be lifted” at events and venues with less than 500 people. According to Kuiper’s plan, the rules for large non-seated events would remain unchanged for the time being.
After months of debates about the mandatory use of coronavirus pass, the government is however considering abolishing this system altogether at the end of February. From February 25, a negative coronavirus test would only be required to attend festivals and other large-scale events.
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