Dutch Government to Scrap COVID Restrictions by February’s End

The Netherlands could be free of all COVID-19 restrictions at the end of the month.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The Dutch government is preparing to get rid of their remaining COVID-19 restrictions by the end of the month, according to Dutch News.
  • Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the cabinet is optimistic about extending working hours past the previously enforced 10 pm.
  • The enforcement was put on bars, restaurants, and theaters, which the government might allow to stay open until 1 am in the coming weeks, as well as allowing full houses.
  • Additionally, some parties in government want to do away with social distancing and work from home recommendations, according to NOS.
  • Ministers in the Netherlands are also pushing to end the entry pass system which would mean that people don’t be required to show proof of vaccination to enter certain venues.
PRESSURE TO RELAX PROTOCOLS:
  • A partial lifting of lockdown measures happened at the end of January when the prime minister responded to frustration amongst his MPs and members of the public.
  • According to I Am Expat International, petitions began to circulate calling for an end to coronavirus certificates, with overwhelming support.
  • Proprietors of businesses that cater to “nightlife” have turned up the heat, citing their lost revenue and potential long-term damage that this closure has had.
BACKGROUND:
  • Prior to the recent announcement about February 25 stop to COVID-19 measures, the restrictions were intended to stay in place until March 8, almost exactly two years since the initial COVID-19 lockdowns took place.
  • I Am Expat International reported that the cabinet was slated to review the mandates and hold a press conference, which eventually ended in the announcement of the amendment to the statutes.
  • The current package of COVID-19 restrictions are set to remain in place until March 8, but the cabinet is due to reevaluate the national coronavirus situation next week, with an update expected at a press conference with Rutte and Health Minister Ernst Kuipers on Tuesday, February 15.