23 November 2021, by Victoria Séveno
The Dutch government and the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) have warned the public that, if another winter lockdown is to be avoided, the current coronavirus rules must be abided by.
Dutch Prime Minister emphasises importance of basic COVID-19 rules
On Monday, the Netherlands was struck by its fourth consecutive night of civil unrest, as anti-coronavirus protests descended into riots. Dozens of arrests were made across various Dutch cities, as youths in Zwolle, Apeldoorn, Roosendaal, Groningen and Enschede were arrested for vandalism, arson, violence and setting off fireworks.
As frustrations grow across the country, the public has been warned that failing to stick to the current set of coronavirus rules would only lead to more restrictions. On Monday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte emphasised the importance of the so-called basic rules: “If we don’t want another press conference before December 3, then it’s very important that we see a turnaround in compliance with those basic measures in the coming days.”
The OMT agrees, saying that “the only way” to avoid stricter measures is to comply with the existing rules – namely the face mask mandate, 1,5-metre distance rule, and getting tested for COVID-19 if you’re displaying symptoms. The latest advice from the experts didn’t advocate for the introduction of more restrictions.
OMT and parliament consider introducing 2G rules in the Netherlands
The cabinet also requested the OMT’s advice in regard to the efficacy of the 3G, 2G and 1G rules. Under the current coronavirus certificate system (3G), proof of vaccination, proof of recovery, or a recent negative coronavirus test are accepted, however, the government is considering switching to 2G (proof of vaccination or recovery) or potentially even 1G (negative coronavirus test) in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The OMT wrote that the use of coronavirus certificates is “not a measure to prevent virus spread and fight an epidemic,” but calculated that the 2G rule would lead to 50 percent fewer infections and 82 percent fewer hospitalisations than 3G. They also wrote that 2G would be more effective in limiting the spread of the virus than 1G.
Meanwhile, the cabinet is moving forward with the plans announced at the press conference on November 12. In order to be able to introduce the controversial 2G rule and expand the use of coronavirus certificates to higher education and certain jobs, the cabinet has to ensure that it has the support of the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer).