Sunny prediction first, from the mouth of Ben van der Ziegst, Professor Emeritus of Vaccines and Immunizations at Leiden University: “I expect the Netherlands to be able to lift the last restrictions in a week or two. All of them. So after that the compulsory isolation of infected people, and the examination will also stop completely.”
Van der Zeegst points to England, where the mandatory quarantine will be lifted this week. “I don’t think it’s reckless, no. I think it’s justified. England is about two weeks ahead of the Netherlands in terms of vaccinations and infections. Most people have very mild symptoms of omicron. Most people have been vaccinated or have infected. So I think we will follow up soon.”
Of course careful
However, the path our government is currently taking is understandable, says van der Zeegst. “Previously, they were a bit careless. During ‘Dancing with Jansen’, the measures were relaxed very quickly. The government paid tuition fees for this. Now the course is on the cautious side, but I think this is a good thing for defense. You know how we as a people are: we expand The rules are immediately to the max. While it’s good to realize that there are still weak people out there. They also have to go to the store. Let this sink in for a while. That’s why it’s not bad to ease into the steps.”
Bert Nesters, an epidemiologist at the University Medical Center Groningen, understands that the obligation to isolate still applies. “Staff dropout rate in the health care chain is still high. In hospitals, among general practitioners, in home care and nursing homes, everywhere. When there is an infection in the family, the whole family falls. You have to prevent that as much as you can.”
The self-test will continue for some time
As far as Niesters is concerned, the access test in GGD is no longer necessary. “I don’t think that makes much sense. You can test negative in the morning and be positive in the evening. Self-test shortly before going to an event is more helpful in my opinion. The government should make these tests available in my opinion.”
Expect self-examination to remain a part of “normal” life for a while. “Of all the people tested for the GGD, more than half have tested positive. This means that the virus is still spreading and infecting many people. That’s why I think everyone should remain vigilant. If the virus rebounds after the summer we’re still used on that “.
Professor Emeritus van der Zeegst stresses that easing restrictions stands or falls with a new variable. “If the new alternative is more dangerous, the lighting may fail. But this is not immediately expected.”
It appeals to the common sense of the Netherlands. “For example, don’t go to a nightclub and two days later to your frail grandmother. If everyone acted wisely, I don’t think there was anything against measures that should be lifted quickly. That was also the time, by way.”
On March 15, the government will once again assess the obligation to wear a face mask on public transport, the mandatory test of arrival (1G) and the advice to work from home.
It is not yet known when the government will consider the remaining measures. The Department of Health, Welfare and Sports must first ask the RIVM to issue advice. According to a RIVM spokesperson, no such request has yet been made.
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