Dutch to reopen schools despite high infection rates

  • World
  • Monday, 03 Jan 2022

Pupils sitting behind partition boards made of plexiglass attend a class at a primary school, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Den Bosch, Netherlands, May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The Netherlands, under a strict COVID-19 lockdown for the past two weeks, will reopen primary and secondary schools on Jan. 10 despite coronavirus infections remaining high, the government announced on Monday.

The government stressed that hospital admissions were down considerably since the country went into a lockdown in December, which included schools closing a week earlier than planned for winter holidays.

"This is good news for students and it's important for their development and their mental well-being that they can go to school," Education Minister Arie Slob said at a press conference.

Vocational schools and universities will not reopen, but instead have online classes until at least January 17.

Last week the Dutch health authorities said Omicron has become the dominant variant in the country. Infections have dropped somewhat from record levels seen in November but remain high with more than 14,000 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours.

"Unfortunately, despite our strict measures we are seeing a rise in infections and that means we are concerned about what will happen in the weeks ahead," Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.

On December 19 the Netherlands closed all but essential shops as well as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public places. A ban remains in place on gatherings outside of more than two people. The measures will be reassessed on January 14.

More than 85% of Dutch adults are vaccinated, but the country's booster campaign was slow to ramp up. As of Wednesday just over 24% of adults have had a booster, though De Jonge said the percentage may double by the end of this week.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Peter Graff)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

First case of monkeypox confirmed in Ireland
Russian ex-president Medvedev calls for tougher 'foreign agent' law
Iran shows off underground drone base, but not its location -state media
U.S. doctors reconsider Pfizer's Paxlovid for lower-risk COVID patients
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican power broker for decades, dies at 94
Ukraine receives Harpoon missiles and howitzers, says defence minister
Russia says eastern Ukraine town of Lyman is under its full control
Iranian police fire shots, teargas to disperse protests over building collapse
Congo summons Rwandan ambassador over alleged support for M23 rebels
Indonesia rescuers search for 26 after boat capsizes

Others Also Read