In this live blog you can read the most important news about the corona virus and the consequences of the corona crisis every day.
This was the most important news of Wednesday, June 16:
7:20 p.m. – People can make an appointment for jab with Janssen from June 23
People who want to receive the corona vaccine from Janssen can make an appointment from next Wednesday. A special telephone number will be opened for this purpose on 23 June. The first shots will be taken next Friday. This takes place in at least one location in each region. This is what the umbrella organization GGD GHOR Nederland announced after a message from the NOS.
200,000 doses will be available in the first two weeks, the Ministry of Health reports. “This is not a lot. So if you receive an invitation for a different vaccine, make that appointment, then you are sure that it will be your turn. You can always register for Janssen,” says a spokeswoman of the ministry. It is not yet known how many people can be vaccinated after the next two weeks, because it is not clear how many doses Janssen can deliver.
6:23 p.m. – De Jonge: more than 13 million corona shots have been taken
The Netherlands has now administered more than 13 million vaccines against the corona virus. These are both first vaccinations and repeat vaccinations. Minister Hugo de Jonge announced the new figure on Wednesday, four days after the 12 millionth shot and eight days after the 11 millionth shot.
The increase means that about 250,000 people are vaccinated every day. According to the government’s corona dashboard, this equates to 341 people per minute. It is planned that all adults who wish to do so should have received at least their first dose by mid-July. The Netherlands started vaccinating on January 6, as the last country in the European Union.
6:01 pm – Companies are making plans for partial return to the office
Many large companies are preparing so that their employees can (continue to) work partly at home and partly at the office after the corona pandemic. This emerges from a tour of companies such as ING, Unilever, Deloitte, KPMG, Aegon and the trade union FNV. All companies surveyed also state that they will continue to work from home after the pandemic. It is said that both forms of work offer advantages.
The cabinet is considering partially withdrawing the homework advice from June 26, sources in The Hague report. The cabinet will make a decision on this on Friday.
5:52 p.m. – British government wants vaccination obligation for healthcare workers
British authorities are going to require workers in English nursing homes for the elderly to be vaccinated against the corona virus, health minister Matt Hancock said in parliament. The vaccination obligation may also apply to other healthcare employees at a later date.
Hancock emphasized that vaccinated people protect not only themselves, but also the people around them. The obligation to vaccinate must prevent the elderly from becoming infected and dying. The minister thinks it is sensible and reasonable that the duty should apply to people who work with “the most vulnerable people” in society.
4:57 p.m. – ‘Urban and regional transport run on 90 percent old timetable’
Regional public transport in the Netherlands has an average timetable of 90 percent compared to 2019, says OV-NL chairman Pedro Peters. The NS is not covered by this. According to him, 90 percent is more than enough to transport all travelers.
The NS, which runs throughout the country, announced on Monday that it will run the full timetable again during the day, because it is getting busier in the train. Peters says that regional carriers are also ready for that, but that it is up to the government when to scale up. “Currently, about 50 percent of travelers are traveling compared to 2019,” said Peters. “
16:20 – Still 605 corona patients in Dutch hospitals
Dutch hospitals are currently still treating 605 corona patients. That is a decrease of 40 patients compared to Tuesday. On Monday, there were still 681 patients with Covid-19 in hospitals. There are currently 239 corona patients in intensive care units, a decrease of 11 patients compared to 24 hours previously. Eight new patients were admitted to the ICUs, but because more patients were discharged or died, the total occupancy still fell.
15:45 – RIVM reports 1040 new corona cases
RIVM reports 1040 new confirmed infections with the corona virus on Wednesday. That is considerably lower than last Wednesday, when 1761 new cases had come to light.
The number of infections on Wednesday is also low compared to last week. An average of 1179 new positive tests per day were reported in the past seven days. That number has been declining steadily for weeks.
The number of deaths from Covid-19 rose by four in the past 24 hours. When a corona patient dies, it can sometimes take a while before this is registered, so these people may have died before. On Tuesday, the number of deaths rose by one, Monday by three. In total, 17,732 corona-related deaths have been registered with RIVM so far.
14:40 – De Jonge: possibly end of mouth cap obligation next week
The mask requirement may be abolished as early as next week. That said corona minister Hugo de Jonge on Wednesday.
The cabinet previously decided to bring forward the relaxation planned for June 30 to June 26. A decision will be made on Friday and there will also be a press conference. This includes broadening the rules for the catering industry and home visits, and allowing events again. But the mouth cap obligation is also on the table, according to De Jonge.
“We are weighing all measures again. Which measures are still necessary, which can be removed?” said De Jonge after consulting his colleagues. “We are vaccinating very quickly, and then you weigh, what else is needed in measures? I think we can say goodbye to quite a few measures, but some will still be needed.”
14:23 – Still 605 corona patients in Dutch hospitals
Dutch hospitals are currently still treating 605 corona patients. That is a decrease of 40 patients compared to Tuesday. On Monday, there were still 681 patients with Covid-19 in hospitals.
There are currently 239 corona patients in intensive care, a decrease of 11 patients compared to 24 hours previously. 366 patients with Covid-19 are treated in the nursing wards. That is 29 fewer than in the previous report from the National Coordination Center for Patients Spreading (LCPS), on Tuesday.
2:15 pm – Advice on vaccination of healthy young people still in the making, cabinet is waiting
With the current vaccination rate, it will probably not be long before all Dutch people aged 18 and older have the opportunity to be vaccinated against the corona virus. The big question is whether the GGDs can then continue to vaccinate young people under the age of 18. The Health Council is still working on an advice to the cabinet on this. When that will appear, a spokesperson for the council could not say on Wednesday.
“We are aware of the speed of the vaccination campaign,” the spokesperson said. “At the same time, careful weighing of benefit and risk is important. That process is not yet finished.”
The cabinet is awaiting the advice of the council. A spokesperson for outgoing Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge points out that the issue is “complex”, partly because of its ethical side. After all, a corona infection is not really dangerous for most healthy young people, she says. “They actually take the vaccine in part to achieve immunity of the population.” The minister first wants advice on this from doctors and ethicists.
13:30 – It is slowly getting busier in traffic and public transport
The Dutch are making more use of their car and public transport since the government ended the ‘hard lockdown’ at the beginning of this month. On the road and on the trains, buses, metros and trams, it was about as busy last week as in the autumn, before the country was closed again as the corona infections rose. This is apparent from figures from the National Road Traffic Data Portal (NDW) and the public transport chip card company Translink.
A researcher from the NDW speaks of a “slightly increasing trend” when he looks at the traffic on the road. That’s partly because people get in the car more often in the spring and summer anyway. If this is taken into account, it remains to be seen that it will become busier.
Compared to the period before the corona crisis, it is still quiet on the Dutch roads. Last week it was 16 percent quieter on working days than in a comparable week in 2019 and 12 percent on weekends. But it is not nearly as quiet on the road as in the middle of the first lockdown. Then the traffic volume was regularly halved.
11:00 am – People from 1997 and 1998 can make an appointment for corona prick
The last groups of adults receive an invitation for vaccination against the corona virus these days. People from 1997 and 1998 can make an appointment for vaccination against the corona virus from Wednesday. The youngest in this group are still 22, the oldest have just celebrated their 24th birthday. Like other people in their twenties and thirties, they receive the corona vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech or that from Moderna.
Earlier this week people from 1994, 1995 and 1996 were invited, and last week it was the turn of people from 1985 to 1993. If no problems arise, it will be a few more days before the last adults are invited. These people were born in 2003. The cabinet hopes that by mid-July every adult who wants to has had a first shot.
9:30 am – Travel advice Cyprus, Croatia, Switzerland, Kos and Rhodes yellow again
More European countries and areas will jump from orange travel advice to yellow on Thursday. This means that holiday trips to those countries are no longer advised against, but there are still safety risks. In any case, travelers no longer have to show a negative test on their return to the Netherlands and are not in quarantine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports.
These are Cyprus, Croatia (with the exception of the Sjeverna Hrvatska region), Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the South Aegean Islands in Greece. In addition, Iceland, Poland and Romania are completely green again.
7:10 am: ‘The Netherlands wants to get rid of the mask obligation sooner’
Almost three quarters of the population (72 percent) wants to get rid of the mask obligation sooner than the cabinet now plans. Hart van Nederland reports this on the basis of a panel of more than 3500 respondents. 11 percent also want the 1.5 meter rule to disappear sooner and about the same percentage would like to see working from home disappear as soon as possible.
The cabinet plans to relax further from June 26. In that case, only restrictions on the number of visitors at home and in public places will apply and the basic rules, such as keeping distance and washing hands, and the mouth mask obligation still apply. These measures will only expire when the last step of the so-called opening plan is taken. There is no date for that yet. Within the cabinet, however, maintaining the mask obligation would be a subject of discussion.
Physician microbiologist and OMT member Andreas Voss thinks that a mask obligation is no longer necessary. “The face masks came later than the basic measures. I think it can be removed, because the added value, especially at the moment, is very small. The numbers are going down very much. I always think keeping a distance is a better measure,” he says. Heart of the Netherlands. The OMT members Marc Bonten and Alex Friedrich also stated in the AD on Tuesday that the relaxation of the mouth cap rule ‘may be earlier’.
According to Hart van Nederland, the research also shows that the Dutch generally still adhere to the mask obligation. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of people say they still wear the cap when they have to. One fifth (19 percent) do not always and 7 percent never. “That’s also what we see at the gates of the hospital where I work,” says Voss. “You see more and more people who are not willing to wear a face mask. Because they have been vaccinated and no longer see the point.”