Partial lockdown needed to bring down infections 13th October
In recent weeks coronavirus has had too many opportunities to spread again. The government decided today that stricter measures are needed to bring down the number of infections. Our approach is to intervene in situations where the risk of transmitting the virus is greatest. We can do this by limiting travel movements and opportunities for people to come into contact with each other, helping people comply with the basic rules and enforcing compliance more strictly.
Tightening the measures will impact on our society and the economy more than we would like, but this step is needed to open up a new prospect: a society that has coronavirus under control. It is crucial that we maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people and keep following the basic rules. Anyone with symptoms should get tested, and those who test positive must stay at home. This will enable us to prevent the vast majority of infections.
Anticipating the virus
We want our interventions to be as targeted as possible. Unfortunately, the greater the number of infections, the more sweeping the measures have to be. We have developed a range of tools: testing policy, the Coronavirus Dashboard (with its four risk levels, clearly indicating what measures are needed at any given time), the CoronaMelder app to support source and contact-tracing efforts, and stricter legislation and enforcement. All these help us better track and anticipate the spread of the virus. And that means we can make rapid, targeted adjustments and combat the virus wherever it flares up.
The nationwide measures will go into effect at 22.00 on Wednesday 14 October. Between now and 27 October, the government will assess what measures are needed in the period after that. There needs to be sufficient evidence that the number of infections and the pressure on the regular healthcare system are declining before we can say with certainty that the measures are working and can therefore be reconsidered.
- At home you may have no more than three visitors per day, excluding children under 13.
- At indoor seated venues a maximum of 30 people applies.
- Indoors and outdoors a group must have no more than 4 people from different households.
- There is no maximum number of people for a household.
- Work from home, unless this is really not possible.
- If you are aged 13 or over, wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
- In secondary and higher education institutions (VO, MBO and HO) everyone must wear a face mask outside lessons.
- All establishments that serve food and drinks must close. Take-away will still be possible.
- Exceptions are:
- hotels for hotel guests
- funeral locations
- airports (after security)
- Locations with a combined function must close the section that serves food and drinks.
- Retail stores must close no later than 20.00. There will be no late-night shopping.
- Grocery stores may stay open later.
- No alcohol or soft drugs will be sold or delivered between 20.00 and 07.00.
- Between 20.00 and 07.00 you may not drink alcohol or use soft drugs or have them on your person in public spaces.
- Events are banned, with the exception of:
- food markets
- trade fairs and conferences
- cinemas and theatres
- matches or competitions
- demonstrations, gatherings and meetings as referred to in the Public Assemblies Act
- Agreements will be made in the retail sector for strict compliance with the protocols. If it becomes too busy or if the basic rules are not being observed, a location can be partly or fully closed. Enforcement will be stepped up.
- At locations where there is a continuous flow of people (such as monuments, libraries and museums) visitors must reserve a time slot. This does not apply to retail stores and food markets.
Taking part in sports is allowed, subject to these restrictions:
- Taking part in individual sports or in team sports with no more than 4 people in total is allowed for anyone aged 18 if they keep a distance of 1.5 metres. Matches and competitions are not permitted.
- Exceptions are:
- elite athletes with a status at assigned locations (such as Papendal);
- footballers (incl. support staff in a ‘bubble’) in the Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie.
- Taking part in team sports, including matches and competitions with teams within their own club, is allowed for children under 18.
- In addition to sports canteens and clubhouses, showers and changing rooms will also remain closed.
- Travel as little as possible.
- Stay at your holiday address as much as possible.
- Limited the number of outings and avoid busy places.
- For travel abroad see the travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Letter of mayor Van Bochove to the Weespers
Mayor of Weesp, Bas Jan van Bochove, has written a letter to all the residents of Weesp:
Dear Weesp residents,
We simply cannot and must not ignore it. There has been a massive rise in the number of corona infections in our city. And that is obviously very worrying. Everything appeared to be going in the right direction during the summer months, but we now find ourselves in the midst of the second wave of infections. If we don’t want this second wave to once again hit many of our vulnerable people hard, now’s the time to take action.
This is why the cabinet has introduced extra measures which will definitely remain in place until 20th October. This means that, throughout this period, gatherings of more than 30 people are prohibited indoors, catering establishments may not welcome in any new guests after 21.00 hours, either inside or on the terraces and they must close their doors at 22.00 hours and we’re not permitted to welcome more than 3 guests into our homes. Sports events can continue, but without spectators and the sports canteen will remain closed. Supermarkets have to introduce special priority shopping hours for the elderly and for people with fragile health. People are also strongly urged to wear face masks in shops, cafés and restaurants, museums, government buildings and in secondary schools’ communal areas and corridors. A complete overview of the measures can be found on the Central Government’s website.
These measures must quickly lead to a significant drop in the number of new infections, otherwise a new ‘lockdown’ will be inevitable. And that is something we really do need to avoid. After all, the consequences suffered as a result of the measures implemented over the past six months are quite serious enough. For our entrepreneurs, our sports providers, our cultural sector, our young people who really want to be able to meet up again and our elderly and vulnerable people, who are absolutely dreading another period which will undoubtedly be filled with loneliness.
We can see the number of new daily infections and hospital admissions on the corona dashboards available on both the Gooi & Vechtstreek region’s and the Central Government’s websites. Weesp has regularly topped the national ‘rankings’ in recent weeks. We unfortunately don’t have a simple explanation for this. A lot of testing is done in Weesp. We have noted that an ever-increasing number of people are finding it difficult to stick to the basic rules. The 1.5 meter social distancing rule appears to be a particularly difficult one for people to abide by. Perhaps quite understandable, but it’s unfortunately the main cause of the rising number of infections. We therefore have the power to influence these figures with our behaviour. Whether and how quickly the numbers in Weesp come down during the forthcoming period is completely down to us, which, in turn, will then obviously earn us back our freedom of movement. It goes without saying this absolutely has to be a team effort. After all, we’ll only be able to get the corona virus under control if we work together.
We would therefore once again like to urgently call on all of you to adhere to the extra measures which are now in place and to remain alert to compliance with the 1.5 meter and hygiene guidelines. Work from home if you can and limit any social contacts as much as possible.
Dear Weesp residents: let’s all play our part and work together. For our entrepreneurs, for our elderly, for our young people, our people working in care and for yourselves too. Hang in there, Weesp!
Bas Jan van Bochove
Mayor of Weesp (acting)
Watch the press conference of 28th September in English
In this video, you can follow Mark Rutte’s part of the press conference in English, in which the prime ministers brings you up to date on the measures for the coming period, so you can understand the latest news on the corona virus in your own language.