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Partial lockdown in The Netherlands extends to Christmas

Partial lockdown in The Netherlands extends to Christmas

Municipalities will get almost 60 million euros in funding to support young people

The partial lockdown in the Netherlands will remain in force for the Christmas holidays, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced at a press conference held on Tuesday evening, 8 December. This means that the Dutch will spend Christmas in a very small circle of friends and family, at home.

The decision was justified with the high number of new coronavirus infections and of those admitted to intensive care. Furthermore, tougher measures could be introduced before Christmas, should the situation continue to deteriorate, it also became clear.

To meet the needs of young people, who were forced to make big sacrifices without being a risk group, municipalities will get a financial package worth 58.5 million euros.

A small circle of friends, no outings on Christmas

According to the partial lockdown rules in The Netherlands, it will be possible to invite up to three people over the age of 13 at home. What is more, guests should be seated at least 1.5 metres away from people from another household.

The catering industry remains closed. The advice to work from home and avoid travelling abroad is still valid.

There are, however, positive developments for the professional athletes – they can train and play again in top-level sports competitions. Furthermore, the cabinet wants to conduct controlled experiments with audiences at sports competitions, theatre and business conferences starting mid-January. The aim is to investigate how such events can be organised as safely as possible.

Mitigating the impact of lockdown on the youth

It was also announced that the Government will be earmarking a special financial support for young people, delivered through municipalities. A Youth Package of 58.5 million euros will enable municipalities to offer the youth more opportunities for activities and meetings, within the applicable restrictions.

These can range all the way from sports tournaments, museum visits, photography workshops, activities on mental resilience, professional orientation, personal coaching, and offline meetings, to online gaming.

The money also provides for additional deployment of youth workers in disadvantaged neighbourhoods where vulnerable young people live. At least 3.5 million of the total amount will be used for accessible, preventive support in the field of mental health.

The selection of actions will be made on the local level in consultation with young people and youth organizations. The activities can start as early as the Christmas holidays and continue until the spring of next year.



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