Dutch gov't relaxes COVID-19 restrictions
THE HAGUE, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The one and a half meter social distance rule will be dropped from Sept. 25 in The Netherlands, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced during a press conference on Tuesday.
The advice to work from home as much as possible will be adjusted to "work from home if possible and at the office if necessary."
"I will immediately add that Sept. 25 is not the day when everything is completely back to the way it was before the novel coronavirus," Rutte said. "There are still too many infections and hospital admissions."
From Sept. 25, everyone aged 13 and older will need a corona pass to enter all eating and drinking establishments -- except takeaway restaurants, and at events, festivals, and professional sports events. This also applies to art and cultural institutions, such as cinemas and theaters.
The pass serves as proof that the holder has been vaccinated, recently test negative or has recovered from COVID-19. People without the pass can have themselves tested for free for a QR code, with which they can gain access.
Nearly 13 million of Netherland's over 17 million population have now had at least one vaccine dose, and over 11 million people have been fully vaccinated. The number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 is stable, according to the government.
The government said that the vaccination rate is now high enough to lift the mandatory 1.5-meter rule everywhere, but not yet high enough to do this without conditions.
"Only with the highest possible vaccination coverage can all measures be relaxed," Rutte said. Enditem