Heineken saves 20 percent on staff due to coronavirus

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Cabinet increases test capacity with 25 additional rapid test locations

Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health, CDA) is taking extra measures to “boost test capacity”, he wrote in a letter to the Lower House on Wednesday. 25 rapid test locations will be opened in some major cities at the end of November. Shortly afterwards, everyone with corona complaints should be able to go to one of the seven so-called XL test locations. According to the minister, the measures are necessary to meet the high demand for tests.

The XL test lanes will soon offer both the common PCR test and one of the “innovative rapid tests”. One of these is an antigen test that must give a definite answer within a maximum of twenty minutes. The extra-large test locations must be opened in December. It is still unclear exactly at which locations, but according to De Jonge “intensive discussions have started with Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Groningen and Eindhoven” and other places will follow “quickly”.

The 25 additional rapid test sites also use antigen testing. In addition, a local outbreak must be identified more quickly, the minister writes. The GGD is therefore looking into the possibilities of using ‘neighborhood-oriented test capacity’, whereby mobile test locations are deployed in places where the virus spreads quickly.

Also read Can we start testing faster and if so, how?

However, additional locations also require additional staff, which, according to De Jonge, is “a point of concern”. Therefore, soldiers will be temporarily deployed as additional forces, after which they will have to be replaced “soon after take-off” by “trained people who can work longer”.

GGD employees take a corona rapid test in a test street in Groningen. Photo Vincent Jannink / ANP

Heineken cuts a fifth in personnel costs due to reduced sales

Heineken wants to save at least a fifth on personnel costs from 2021 because of the decline in beer sales due to the corona crisis. The brewer announced this on Wednesday when presenting the latest quarterly figures. It is not known exactly how many of the 85,000 employees worldwide will be laid off. There may also be forced layoffs, the company said to the ANP news agency.

The quarterly figures show that Heineken produced 1.9 percent less beer in the third quarter than in the same quarter a year ago. In the first nine months of this year, production decreased by 8.1 percent compared to the same period in 2019. In many parts of the world, bars and other restaurants closed early this year to prevent the spread of the virus. Several countries are currently taking these measures again as they face a second wave. “The situation remains very unstable and uncertain,” said CEO Dolf van den Brink. “We expect new outbreaks of Covid-19 to continue to impact many of our markets.”

The cabinet announced on Tuesday evening that the current Dutch corona measures, including the closure of the catering industry, will certainly last until December. The cabinet has decided to release EUR 140 million for additional support measures; The catering industry, among others, will receive a one-off subsidy to meet fixed costs, on top of the previously announced third support package. Applications for this Fixed Expenses Allowance can be submitted from November.

Also read: The second wave is already asking for adjustments to the third support package

After the announcement of the extension of the measures, the branch organization Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN) called for additional support measures. “Most entrepreneurs have been hit so hard that there is often no more liquidity. The pain is now, ”said KHN chairman Robèr Willemsen. “The additions are a good first step, but unfortunately it is not enough. More must be reimbursed – and moreover faster – to enable entrepreneurs to get through the winter months. ” He argues that catering businesses should be reimbursed for their fixed costs “one hundred percent” if they have to close completely.

A Heineken warehouse in Zoeterwoude. The company employs 85,000 people worldwide. Photo Koen van Weel / ANP

Baseball player leaves field due to corona, returns when team has won

The Los Angeles Dodgers won the championship again on Wednesday for the first time in 32 years in the highest American baseball league, the MLB, but a Dodgers player demanded attention in a different way. During the sixth game with the Tampa Bay Rays, third baseman Justin Turner was taken off the field, because at the time it was known that he had tested positive for the corona virus. Shortly after his team’s victory, Turner remarkably returned to the field for the team photo. He also took off his mouth cap.

On Twitter, Turner said afterwards that he was disappointed that he had not been able to experience the festivities, but that he felt “fantastic” and had no symptoms of Covid-19. The race for the US baseball championship was completed in a bubble in two months, with no player tested positive for the corona virus.

The Dodgers, with Dutch pitcher Kenley Jansen under contract, won the sixth game in World Series on Wednesday, 3-1. With that, the team secured its fourth victory, meaning the Tampa Bay Rays could no longer pass the Dodgers. All games were played at the Texas Rangers’ stadium in Arlington. About 10,000 to 12,000 spectators were present at each match.

This video shows Justin Turner rejoining his team for the photo after the game:

Population has grown slightly again, mainly due to immigration

The Dutch population is growing slightly again. From June to September, the population increased by 39,000 people, mainly due to immigration. This is evident from figures published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Wednesday.

The number of immigrants in the Netherlands fell sharply after the outbreak of the corona virus in the spring. For example, 41 percent fewer newcomers registered in April compared to March. After the corona measures were relaxed in mid-June, the immigration balance picked up again, both from EU and non-EU countries. Until September, nearly thirty thousand more people came to the Netherlands than left. This year is no exception; According to Statistics Netherlands, the summer period is usually a period in which many immigrants register because of seasonal work.

Another explanation for the population growth in the third quarter is the natural increase. Almost 10,000 more babies were born in the third quarter than people died.

Nevertheless, the Dutch population rose less rapidly until September compared to the same period last year. In the first nine months of 2020, 54,000 people registered in the Netherlands, almost half less than in the same period last year.

The last news

Welcome to a new blog. Here NRC keeps track of the most important developments regarding the corona crisis. This was the main news of Tuesday:

  • The cabinet is extending the current corona measures until December, but did not announce any new measures during a press moment on Tuesday evening. Originally, the measures that were tightened up by mid-October would be in effect until November 11.
  • To support companies in severely affected sectors, the cabinet is pulling half a billion euros extra. Catering entrepreneurs and the event industry, among others, will receive extra support.
  • The number of positive corona tests in the Netherlands, the past seven days was again higher than the week before, but the increase was less marked than in the previous weeks. The number of corona patients in the ICU also continues to rise.
  • A large majority of the Senate agreed by coronawet. According to Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health, CDA), this will probably take effect on 1 December.
  • Flanders Due to the rapidly increasing number of corona infections, closes all fitness centers, swimming pools, cinemas and bowling alleys. Furthermore, except for the weekly markets, all events are prohibited for the time being, such as fairs, Christmas and flea markets and ice rinks.
  • In Italy A total of more than thirty arrests were made in nighttime riots that started in several cities after protests against tightened corona measures. Many of the detainees are minors.

Read the entire corona blog of Tuesday 27 October here


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