Follow the debate at the bottom of this article via the posts of political reporter Elif Isitman.
The Lower House had insisted on a national standard. According to Rutte, the measure still needs to be worked out, because ‘many questions arise from it’. As far as the prime minister is concerned, the advice does not apply to secondary schools, where the distance rule already applies to teachers anyway. Nor is it an obligation, but an ‘urgent advice’.
On Monday, the cabinet only recommended mouth masks in busy places in the three major cities, in shops or institutions that want this. Retailers may also refuse customers there who do not wear a mouth mask. The Chamber found that unclear.
The SP believes that the cabinet is shifting its responsibility with this. Party leader Marijnissen also thinks that the cabinet acted too late, and too weak. “When the hospitals get into trouble, we will be too late.” She wants a clear schedule in which a fixed measure is available for each contamination level. Incidentally, the cabinet is currently working on something like this, the so-called roadmap.
PvdA leader Asscher, like Marijnissen, expresses his support for the measures taken by the cabinet. “At the same time, I hold my heart.” He thinks it is a ‘dangerous prospect’ that it is the cabinet’s goal to cautiously contain the spread. He argues for more drastic measures faster.
Asscher also calls it ‘incomprehensible’ that the government recommended OMT not to use masks as a preventive measure in nursing homes, but only in the big cities.
GL leader Klaver agrees. Mouth-nose masks must (be able to) be worn preventively in nursing homes and in district nursing in all regions, something for which 50Plus and ChristenUnie also advocate. Klaver also wants the cabinet to give ‘urgent advice’ that a holiday abroad is ‘not an option’. After all, the flare-up of the virus this summer can be traced back to returning holidaymakers.
PVV leader Wilders makes a point of ventilation, which according to him is more important than keeping a distance of one and a half meters. Moreover, Minister De Jonge must provide more healthcare personnel. “Seduce them with a higher salary.” Wilders wants the government to give advice to wear mouth masks in indoor areas, although he believes that this should not be an obligation. The SGP thinks so too.
The cabinet has abandoned the tactic to reduce the corona virus with local measures. With a series of national interventions for the next three weeks, Prime Minister Rutte and ‘corona minister’ De Jonge try to contain the flaring second corona wave as quickly as possible. Such as: no more than 30 people together indoors, no audience at sports matches, closing sports canteens and a maximum of three visitors at home. Prime Minister Rutte admits in the debate that earlier intervention would have been better. “We learn from this.”
Yet it is not the measures that are the hammer that flattens the curve of rising infections, but our behavior, says the prime minister. “The hope is to be back at a manageable level in about two or three weeks. Our behavior is the start and end point. ” The Prime Minister says he understands that society is not waiting for it. “Corona fatigue strikes. There is loss on all fronts and it will increasingly be experienced that way. Corona is a virus that affects not only physically but also mentally. ”
It is not certain whether the measures are sufficient, Rutte admits. It is not for nothing that the cabinet is keeping far-reaching measures in reserve. Such as: completely closing the catering, cultural and sports sectors. “But of course we have confidence in this package. Otherwise we wouldn’t do it. ”
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