Announced this week, the Dutch government has extended most measures to control the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) until 19 May inclusive. Plans are in place for primary and pre-schools to open in May, with all events cancelled until 1 September. The message remains clear: we need to continue to stay at home as much as possible.

Staying at home as much as possible, handwashing, working from home, keeping a distance from others – all these measures advised by experts have been extended until 19 May at least in the government’s announcement this week. The coronavirus situation in the country continues to be precarious, though there are certain measures that can be taken in the coming weeks to relax the rules for primary and pre-schools.

Schools begin opening in May

After the May holiday, primary and pre-schools can reopen on 11 May, with measures noted as:

• The size of classes at primary schools will need to be halved and the set-ups adjusted to adhere to the 1.5-metre distancing rule.
• Pupils will attend school approximately 50% of the time, with distance learning constituting the remainder of school hours.
• Pupils of primary schools for special education may attend school every day.

The practical details are still to be worked out by the schools in the coming weeks ahead and parents will be informed by the school.

These are the first steps announced by the government’s team of outbreak advisors (OMT) to reopen schools and the outcome will be closely monitored. If there is no major outbreak a month after reopening primary schools, secondary schools can begin preparations to resume physical classroom teaching, while incorporating the necessary measures. It is likely that secondary schools can begin making preparations for pupils to gradually return to school from 2 June.

Events cancelled until September

The announcement stated that school children can partake in supervised sports, according to the guidelines. However, team sports activities are not allowed, and larger scale sporting events will not yet resume. Events which require a permit are now cancelled until 1 September.

A list of FAQs about these new measures, which will come into effect after 28 April, is available on the government’s website here.

[Source]

This is an ongoing situation and it is advisable to check the websites of the relevant authorities to obtain the most up-to-date information.

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To keep updated with advice from the government and the RIVM, head to:

http://government.nl/coronavirus

https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

The message remains clear: we need to continue to stay at home as much as possible

Carmel McNamara