This Easter weekend will be a test of our ability to stay home to save lives. Municipalities are urging people not to go out and parking spaces near parks and beaches will be closed again. Public places will be accessible on foot and by bicycle but authorities will be checking that safety distances of 1.5 metres are maintained.
Here is a summary of the local news headlines for Friday 10 April:
EU finance ministers have agreed on an aid package worth €540 billion to limit the economic fallout of the coronavirus in Europe. Despite Dutch lobbying, the aid will be given without strict conditions. The agreement came after intense negotiations by videoconference between the major stakeholders Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Supermarkets are allowed to extend their opening times during this Easter weekend. On Good Friday, they are allowed to open for longer in the evening and they may also open on Easter Sunday. This exceptional measure is in order to spread out the number of shoppers so that safety distances can be respected.
Local transport company, HTM is asking people not to take the trams and buses this weekend except for essential business.
Over 200 Hague schoolchildren are still “missing” since the schools closed in mid-March. Schools and authorities have not been able to locate the children. It is thought that some might have been taken by their parents to their country of origin. The number of missing children has gone down from 400 a week ago.
A new exception has been made to the emergency coronavirus measures, in order to protect vulnerable children. Schools and childminders are now allowed to accept children who are unsafe or not receiving adequate care in their homes.
There is growing pressure on the city of The Hague from Islamic groups and political parties to set up a Muslim cemetery. Since the corona outbreak the number of deaths has increased and families are not allowed to take bodies back to their country of origin, making this request a priority. There is currently no permanent resting place for Muslims in the Hague where they can be buried according to their religious rites.
Non-corona patients from the rehabilitation ward of the Reinier de Graaf hospital in Delft are being moved to the nearby WestCord Hotel to recover from illness and operations. This is to take pressure of the hospital which needs more beds for corona patients.
In cooperation with Omroep West and Den Haag FM, www.Dutchbuzz.nl will provide a daily summary of the day’s most important news by 13.00 each day.