July 4, 2022

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House of Representatives: Allowing children to exercise longer, possibly extending Christmas holidays

House of Representatives: Allowing children to exercise longer, possibly extending Christmas holidays

The evening shutdown has been in place for at least three weeks since Sunday. Almost all sectors should close at 5 pm; Schools are saved. Today, the House of Representatives is discussing the measures that will apply until December 18 in any case. It appears that a majority of the House of Representatives approves of the new package of measures.

Christmas holidays a longer week?

VVD suggests starting the Christmas holidays a week in advance. Children are “virus factories” and are not vaccinated. Therefore, schools are the biggest sources of infection. Aukje de Vries from VVD suggests starting the Christmas holidays a week early. For example, for a shorter summer vacation. In principle, D66 and SP are positive about the plan.

The Outbreak Management Team (OMT), the experts who advise Cabinet, in its latest advice suggested starting the Christmas holidays a week early. The government has not adopted this advice (yet). Outgoing Minister Ari Slopp is also present at the discussion and will answer questions this evening.

Much of the House of Representatives agrees to make amateur sports possible after 5 p.m. D66, CDA, SP, DENK, GroenLinks and JA21 want to know from the outgoing treasury, among other things, what effect to expect.

Sports abroad

SP argues in favor of excluding outdoor sports from the five-hour scale in any case. GroenLinks is also on this line and points out several restrictions that were implemented each time for amateur athletes. “Right now competitions are allowed, but training sessions are not,” said Lisa Westerfeld, Member of Parliament at Groenlinks, wondering how the effects of these kinds of measures are measured. The CDA has suggested whether it is possible for young adults up to age 21 to exercise after 5 p.m.

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D66 Member of Parliament Jan Paternott also wonders if an early closure would help the athletes. He points out that this means that more people are in the changing rooms during the day and that there is less spread.

The biggest criticism from the House of Representatives relates to the slow use of the booster shot. To date, more than 200,000 booster doses have been taken in the Netherlands. This puts us behind our neighboring countries. For comparison: 1.5 million booster rounds were taken in Belgium.

“It starts too late,” says Representative Atje Koyken (PvdA). “Too little, too late,” says colleague Jean Paternott (D66). “Once again we’re close to that,” said Martin Heijinck (SP).