Getting cut on the stage of the Concertgebouw, while the orchestra plays. Fitness between the paintings of Frans Hals in Haarlem. Nail care in De Doelen in Rotterdam with Edison winner Katherine Daine in the background who sings heartbreaking works by Cole Porter. All over the country, museums, theaters and cinemas opened for one day on Wednesday, but then as a ‘hairdresser’ or ‘sports club’; they have been allowed to open their doors again since last week.
For example, the cultural sector is protesting against what is seen as arbitrariness in the relaxation of the cabinet last week. Where other sectors were allowed to open under certain conditions, the culture and catering sector remained closed. “It can no longer be explained that even transfer locations such as museums are not allowed to open, while the IKEA and the Bijenkorf are,” said director of the Museum Association Vera Carasso on Wednesday at the presentation of a protocol with which the cultural sector can safely reopen. regardless of the number of infections.
Also read this report of the culture protest: ‘The cultural sector closed and shops not, is total arbitrariness’
Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) said on Friday at the corona press conference that he understands that it “feels completely unfair” for culture and catering that they have to wait. But according to the prime minister, the cabinet should opt for step-by-step relaxation.
When museums reopen, there are fears that too many people will travel
It was clear that the reopening of higher education and the sports sector was at the top of the political wish list, because of the mental and physical health of young people and the rest of the population.
The cultural sector is not given priority. The OMT then looks at the risk of contamination: outside is safer than inside, individual contact is safer than contact in groups and a shorter travel distance is less risky. Shopping and hairdressing are seen as a fleeting activity with a good ability to keep your distance. The OMT wanted shopping to be only possible by appointment, but the cabinet let that go. The OMT sees catering and culture visits as riskier, because larger groups of people have longer and more intensive contact. When museums reopen, there are fears that too many people will travel.
Cabinet hopes to bring good news next week
The OMT will talk about further relaxation on Friday, the cabinet hopes to bring good news to the catering industry and culture next week. Rutte and Minister Kuipers (VWS, D66) wanted to wait and see how fast the infections increase, whether hospital occupancy is increasing and whether favorable information about Omikron is coming from abroad.
It looks good on two out of three points. The number of new hospital admissions fell further this week. Kuipers called this “incredibly good news”. He said that more and more confirmation is coming from abroad that Omikron is less sickening. OMT member and IC doctor Diederik Gommers told EenVandaag that he sees a big change in the ICUs. “With the other variants, you saw that a fifth of hospital admissions came to the ICU, and Omikron now seems to be undergoing a major change. That number can be counted on one hand.”
The only source of concern is that the number of infections is exploding to such an extent that society is being disrupted. Last week’s relaxation alone could lead to 75,000 to 100,000 infections per day, the OMT calculated.
With the cooperation of Elsje Jorritsma.
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