Rutte: corona is not flu, despite what protesters think!

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UTRECHT - Minister Ferd Grapperhaus arriveert voor het Veiligheidsberaad. De burgemeesters van de 25 veiligheidsregio's bespreken de actualiteiten rond het coronavirus. ANP JEROEN JUMELET

Now that the number of infections is increasing at a rapid pace, the cabinet seems to be aiming for a stricter lockdown in the run-up to the holidays. On Monday evening, Prime Minister Rutte addresses the people from Torentje. Follow the latest news about the coronavirus in the Netherlands here.

– Number of new confirmed corona infections on Monday: 8,4961,417  fewer than on Sunday
– Number of corona patients in the hospital on Sunday: 1,872105  more than on Sunday
– Number of corona patients in intensive care on Sunday: 503, there are 6 more than on Sunday


Update 19:15 – Rutte: corona is not flu, despite what protesters think

The coronavirus is not the harmless flu “what the protesters here seem to think outside of it”, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Monday evening during his televised speech about the new, very strict lockdown rules. During his speech, you can clearly hear cheers and whistles from outside the Torentje in The Hague.

“The stretch is really out, and then the flu season has yet to begin,” he says from his office about the current revival of the virus. That makes this increase necessary, according to the prime minister.

Update 19:04 – Whistle of opponents corona measures during Rutte’s speech

A small group of opponents of the corona measures made themselves heard with whistles at the Hofvijver in The Hague during the speech of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. In the tower where Rutte gives his speech and also on television the whistling could be heard, the prime minister referred to it in his speech.

Throughout the pandemic, opponents demonstrated against measures that go too far in relation to the dangers of the coronavirus.


Update 18:56 – LIVE: Rutte speaks to the people from Torentje about new strong corona measures

Prime Minister Rutte addresses the country on Monday evening from his office in Torentje. He will then announce which strict corona measures will apply in the near future.


Update 18:42 – Ministry of Health promotes corona vaccination in the media

The Ministry of Health is already starting this week with a public campaign for (free and voluntary) corona vaccination via radio commercials and advertisements in newspapers. The first vaccinations are expected early next year.

People will also be informed through social media and online advertisements. Outdoor advertising and TV spots will follow later in the campaign. There is also information about the order in which vaccination will take place and answers to other frequently asked questions.

Update 6:29 PM – First North Americans vaccinated with corona vaccine

In the United States, the first people were vaccinated with a corona vaccine. It concerns the agent of the companies Pfizer and BioNTech. The first shot was for a nurse at a Jewish medical center in New York. The injection was broadcast live on television.

US President Trump expressed his delight on Twitter: “Congratulations USA! Congratulations world! ” The US authorities recently gave the green light. Then a huge distribution operation got underway to bring the vaccine to hospitals.

Later on Monday, someone was vaccinated for the first time with the corona vaccine in Canada. Here was the shot for a caregiver.

Update 18:23 – Gyms cannot escape closure this time

Due to the stricter corona measures, gyms cannot escape closure this time and that is “a hard blow for the sector”, says Ronald Wouters, chairman of the NL Actief sector association.

In recent months, additional measures applied to gyms, but they could remain open. On Monday evening, according to insiders, Prime Minister Mark Rutte will announce in a speech about new, strict corona measures that sports are only allowed outside in small groups and that gyms must now also be closed until at least January 19. “Despite the fact that we were open, it was tough. Gyms were operating below the breakeven point. The dot on the horizon was that more people would come with the vaccinations from January, but that is now a difficult story, ”says Wouters.

Richard Piekaar, the spokesperson for BasicFit, calls the closure “disappointing”. “We understand that the spread of corona needs to be contained, but we had hoped that it would be appreciated that we contribute to keeping people fit and thus helping to contain corona,” said Piekaar. “Gyms have been given an exception in England. We also hoped to remain open because we do not contribute to the spread. ” Gyms make a positive contribution to the fight against corona, according to Piekaar.

Update 18:16 – It is unclear whether hardware stores can remain open

The question is whether DIY stores should be closed due to the high number of corona infections. A Gamma spokeswoman thinks the chain will be regarded as essential, as products are also sold that solve problems with taps, electricity, and gas.

Hardware store chain Hornbach says it is waiting for the press conference before statements can be made. That chain hopes to be labeled an essential store. If hardware stores do have to close, Hornbach would like to offer the possibility to have Christmas trees collected.

Intratuin says it has not yet received any signals of crowds. The garden center wants to await the cabinet’s press conference before making further statements. The chain does not want to say anything about Christmas tree sales, although there is the hope that customers will be able to collect the stock of real Christmas trees.

Praxis also does not want to respond to the possible cabinet decision yet.


Update 17:21 – Professor of epidemiology: ‘These firm corona measures will certainly work’

The measures that the cabinet will announce on Monday evening to reduce the coronavirus will certainly work. This is what Frits Rosendaal, professor of epidemiology at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) expects.

“I think this had to be done, we couldn’t wait any longer”, Rosendaal begins. “It is a firm package, comparable to what Germany is doing, but I don’t think the measures go unnecessarily far. All restrictions work a bit separately. The more measures you take, the harder it works ”, says Rosendaal.

Update 16:48 – Sports only outside and with a very limited number

Sport is only allowed outside for the next month, with a maximum of four or even two people. Gyms and swimming pools must in any case close again until January 19. According to insiders, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced this on Monday evening in a speech about new, strict corona measures.

Sources in The Hague also report that the number of guests that can be received at home will probably decrease further to two. Now there are three more. Rutte is reportedly fulfilling his earlier promise not to impose additional restrictions at Christmas. In that case, three extra people can visit outside of their own family.

There will be no additional restrictions for air traffic. There is already urgent advice to stay in your own country for the time being. Churches may also remain open. The constitution does not allow the government to close it. Agreements have previously been made with various religious communities about a voluntary limitation of the number of churchgoers.

Update 16:36 – Grapperhaus: measures are not too late

The new stricter measures that Prime Minister Mark Rutte will announce on Monday evening will not be too late. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus (Security) said this on Monday before he joined the Security Council.

According to him, the sturdy package from October initially worked very well. “For several weeks now, people have had difficulty complying with the rules,” said the minister. The situation is deteriorating and access to care is under threat, he says. That is why it is now necessary to intervene considerably.

The minister said that there are now 1 million overdue treatments in healthcare. According to him, it will go completely wrong if the number of infections does not decrease further now. “People who say that the measures are coming too late are ignoring the development of the virus in recent weeks. It still finds ways to increase. ”

On Tuesday, the minister will announce how the new measures announced on Monday can be enforced.

Update 16:07 – ‘Lockdown disastrous for stores’

The consequences of a lockdown are “disastrous” for the non-food retail sector. That says industry association INretail, which points out that many retailers normally earn their profit for the year in the month of December.

Moreover, according to the retailers association, fashion, shoe, and sports shops, in particular, have already had a difficult spring. This will lead to stores going bankrupt, INretail believes. “There will be enormous blows. Many entrepreneurs are now being pushed over the edge. ”

INretail warned last weekend that a more intelligent approach was possible. With such an approach and local intervention where it becomes too busy, “the economy would have collapsed less than is now going to happen”. According to the trade association, about 800,000 people work in the retail sector, of which about 500,000 are in the non-food sector.

Update 15:43 – Busy shopping streets, municipalities are taking extra measures

In view of the hard lockdown that Prime Minister Mark Rutte will probably announce on Monday evening, many Dutch people are running to the shopping streets to do the much-needed (Christmas) shopping. Many municipalities, therefore, implement extra security measures or especially advise against coming to the cities and staying at home.

The cabinet probably wants to close all non-essential stores, ie all stores except supermarkets and pharmacies, until January 19. By closing the stores in the next five weeks, the government hopes to halt the increasing number of new corona infections.

Update 14:41 – ‘It is unnecessary to close shops, shopping is safe’

The closure of non-essential stores to reduce the number of corona infections is unnecessary, according to retail consultancy RMC and industry association Modint. Both organizations state that safe shopping is possible, even in the busy period around Christmas.

RMC’s advice is to deal with peak times rather than a general closure of unnecessary stores. “We think that this is too heavy a measure that cannot be substantiated with figures,” said Huib Lubbers, director of the RMC bureau. He thinks safe shopping is possible, especially now that Christmas falls on Friday and Saturday. Traditionally, the Saturday before Christmas is the busiest day, and the crowds are now spread throughout the week.

Update 2:22 PM – Nearly 8,500 new corona cases, less than days before

8496 new corona cases were registered between Sunday and Monday morning. That is less than in the days before when the number of positive tests at the RIVM health service exceeded 9,000.

On Mondays, the number of reports is often somewhat lower than on other days, because fewer people have themselves tested on weekends. The number of almost 8,500 new cases is higher than on previous Mondays.

Update 2:21 PM – Queues of people in front of stores leading up to lockdown

In front of several stores in the shopping center In de Bogaard in Rijswijk, rows of people are standing on Monday afternoon now it has become known that non-essential stores will have to close in the night from Monday to Tuesday due to a large number of corona infections. The cosmetics stores Douglas and Rituals and the Hema and bookstore Bruna are very busy.

A man standing in line at Bruna in Rijswijk thinks it is good that most shops are closing. “People don’t stop by the rules. I still see too many people without masks and this is the consequence. ”

Bertie Beekman is waiting in line at Rituals because she wants to quickly buy some Christmas presents for the children. “I think it’s good that everything is closing, it should have happened before.”

There are also people who want to quickly borrow a book now that the corona measures are being tightened. For example, a long line of people is waiting in front of the library in Roermond on Monday afternoon. There are also people who quickly buy a Christmas tree while it is still possible. In Eindhoven, among others, it is busy at sales outlets for Christmas trees.


Update 13:58 – Utrecht uses extra traffic controllers

The municipality of Utrecht is scaling up to prevent problems due to crowds, the mayor’s spokesman reports. In the city, extra traffic controllers are deployed to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The municipality, therefore, makes the appeal: “use your mind and only come shopping if you need things now”.

Update 13:20 – Amsterdam entrepreneurs ‘have done everything they can’

The cabinet’s intention to close shops to curb the number of corona infections hit hard at the business association Vereniging Amsterdam City. “We have done everything we can to organize it as well as possible,” says a spokeswoman. “I don’t think closing stores will help, but we don’t know for sure.”

The entrepreneurs have recently decorated the capital with festive lighting. “We have made the city very beautiful, the catering industry has also contributed to this,” said the spokeswoman. “But we just have to see if we leave the party lights on. There is not much celebration right now. ”

Update 13:19 – Police issue 543 corona fines in a week

Police fined 543 people last week for non-compliance with corona rules. For example, they did not wear a face mask in public places. 639 people were also warned for not complying with the measures. A week earlier, it involved 510 fines, the police reported on Monday.

Fifty illegal parties were also ended last week. A week earlier, agents ended more than thirty illegal parties.

Update 12:00 – ‘Hard lockdown until January 19’

The Netherlands will be locked for more than a month from last night. The cabinet is preparing a hard lockdown in which almost everything will close until January 19. The Hague sources report this to the NOS. All non-essential shops will close, but cultural institutions such as theaters will also have to close.

Contact professions such as hairdressers and nail stylists also fall under the stricter lockdown. In addition, all schools will close from Wednesday, so from that moment on, students must be taught online. The tightened measures will take effect as early as midnight to prevent a run on stores.

Finally, the cabinet is planning to call on all Dutch people to stay at home as much as possible and to keep visits to a minimum. A curfew is not expected.

Update 10:30 – Group leaders updated about new measures

Serious intensification of the corona measures seems to become. All group chairmen in the House of Representatives were invited to the Ministry of General Affairs, the Department of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, at 12 noon. They will be informed there about the new measures that the cabinet will take, sources from The Hague report.


Update 09:25 – Prime Minister Rutte gives another speech from Torentje

Prime Minister Mark Rutte will give a speech from Het Torentje tonight at 7 p.m. The Prime Minister is expected to announce tougher corona measures in the run-up to the holidays. In the past week, the number of new corona infections has risen sharply to almost 10,000 yesterday.

The cabinet will decide today on tightening up the corona measures. In the morning there is crisis consultation with ministers most involved in the corona crisis. Subsequently, there is an additional cabinet in which the cabinet finally makes a decision about any tightening.

Monday morning, Corona Minister Hugo de Jonge said prior to an emergency meeting that the situation is “serious” and that more is needed. Naturally, the cabinet is looking at measures taken by Germany, he said, but “we are really dealing with the Dutch situation”. In Germany, a strict lockdown will apply from next Wednesday, with non-essential stores closing and schools also closing their doors.

Update 8:45 am – 10 percent of travelers refuse to wear mouth masks

The ‘face mask terror’ in public transport is increasing rather than decreasing. Travelers who deliberately do not put on a face mask on the train, bus, tram, or metro, because they deny corona or simply disregard the rules, is an increasing irritation for fellow passengers.

Chairman Pedro Peters of OV-NL, the umbrella organization to which all transport companies, NS, regional, and city transport companies are affiliated, admits in De Telegraaf that the number of ‘corona fitters’ is not falling. “It is roughly about ten percent of the number of travelers, who systematically ignore the duty to mask the face.”

For example, there are soon more than 100,000 people a day who do not care about the legal prohibition to travel on public transport without a mask. Even now that public transport only runs on a third of ‘normal’ travelers due to the corona restrictions.

The consequences are major for other travelers, warns public transport ombudsman Bram Hansma in the newspaper. “For many frightened vulnerable people also reason not to use public transport anymore”, he hears in complaints. According to him, it is not the intention that the number of passengers “will decrease even further due to misconduct of a minority”.


Update 08:10 – Sickness absence highest in seventeen years

We report sick more and more since the corona crisis. In the first nine months of this year, the percentage of sickness reports was the highest since 2003, reports Statistics Netherlands. The high level of absenteeism is probably due to the coronavirus, although it has not been investigated why people called in sick.

In July, August, and September, employees of companies and the government reported sick on 4.4 percent of the working days. In the same period a year, earlier this was still 4 percent. Statistics Netherlands saw the absenteeism increase in almost all sectors, with the exception of education and the government. Here, on the contrary, a decrease was seen compared to a year earlier.

People with a job in healthcare reported sick most, especially in nursing and retirement homes. Employees in the hotel and catering industry and agriculture normally stay ill at home the least, but absenteeism in these sectors increased the most in the past quarter.


Update 06:30 – Will there be more severe corona measures?

The cabinet will decide today on tightening up the corona measures. In the morning there is crisis consultation with ministers most involved in the corona crisis. They will discuss the proposals that were put on the table in the Catshuis on Sunday and which were then further developed by officials.

Subsequently, the cabinet will take decisions on this during an additional cabinet meeting. It is almost certain that many of the stores will have to close. Prime Minister Mark Rutte already hinted at that as an option last week. The details can still go in all directions, such as which stores exactly and for how long.

Not everything is clear about any other measures either. This may involve a new closure of museums, cinemas, theaters, and other events. Schools could also introduce a longer Christmas holiday, but it is not yet clear whether the government will decide when it would start, for how long, and which schools it will be.

There will probably be a new press conference on Monday evening in which Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health will announce the new measures. The reason for the rush at the cabinet is the rising contamination figures. Yesterday the number of new corona infections reached almost 10,000 again.

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