Mayor Halsema last night issued ‘an urgent advice’ to wear a face mask in shops and other indoor areas accessible to the public, but she would have preferred the cabinet to come up with a national duty. The city council wants that too, but there is also criticism of the Amsterdam approach.
During an emergency debate tomorrow, the SP will submit a motion that will be supported almost council-wide and in which it urges the mayor to introduce a masking obligation in the Amsterdam / Amstelland Safety Region, because it is ‘an appropriate preventive measure’ for Amsterdam.
Halsema himself said during the press conference yesterday that the introduction of a duty for such interior spaces by the security region would not be legally valid. At talk show On 1 she added that this requires a national designation from the cabinet, which she would like to see. Prime Minister Rutte said he will take the next few days with it Outbreak Management Team about this.
Mouth masks advice ‘half baked’
SP leader Erik Flentge says that introducing such a masking obligation is not the solution alone, but foresees problems with the advice that is now available. “Rutte is now passing it on to the shop staff,” says Flentge.
Only DENK and the Liberal Conservative Group of former FvD member Anton van Schijndel do not sign the motion. THINK foreman Mourad Taimounti thinks the government is now ‘half-baked’: ‘Now you leave it up to a shopkeeper to argue with his customers about whether or not to wear a face mask. Then don’t bring it up at all. ‘
Opposition parties DENK and the VVD are again very concerned about the economic consequences of the new measures, especially for the catering industry. They believe that extra support should be provided for them, not only from The Hague, but also from Amsterdam. VVD party chairman Marianne Poot: ‘Think of further postponement or cancellation of municipal taxes, but now also extend the extension of the terraces for the winter.’
‘In addition to the corona crisis, there is also a climate crisis’
The largest party on the council, GroenLinks, is not without reason for the latter. Party chairwoman Femke Roosma: ‘We would like to look at it, but it should not be the case that we will soon be heating terraces without people all day long. In addition to the corona crisis, there is also a climate crisis. ‘
The VVD will also ask tomorrow for an extra measure that will affect another group of entrepreneurs; the liberals want, just like the catering industry, sex workers to close from 10 pm: ‘You really want to have as few people as possible on the street after ten o’clock.’
Because concerns about the second wave for public health are shared by left and right. ‘That is why unanimity is important now’, says Roosma. ‘Certainly now that support for additional measures is declining, it is not the time to shift politics back and forth.’
Coalition partner SP sees this differently. Flentge thinks the cabinet has waited too long. ‘And that has now led to a great risk for Amsterdam of a second lockdown.’ But Amsterdam has also failed, according to Flentge, when it comes to the failed source and contact research and the tight test capacity.
‘The mayor should have been more visible earlier’
The VVD thinks that mayor Halsema should have been ‘more visible’, especially when it turned out a few weeks ago that things were going in the wrong direction in Nieuw-West and Southeast. Marianne Poot: ‘Many people with a migrant background live there, large families living in small houses. Organize meetings there, go to the conference centers where many people gather. Visibility and good, clear communication as a civilian mother is very important. ‘
Mourad Taimounti (DENK) thinks that ‘unfair framing’ of neighborhoods outside the ring, relatively speaking, the Center is doing just as badly according to him. The latter is not apparent from the latest figures, but the differences are indeed getting smaller. Or as Mayor Halsema said last night: ‘The Amsterdam region has become one large cluster.’
Tomorrow afternoon the council will debate with mayor Halsema about the new corona measures.
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