AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday said the government is considering lifting social distancing rules on Sept. 20 as COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands ease.
In the week ended Aug. 10, cases fell by 14% in the Netherlands to 103 per 100,000 inhabitants, the country’s National Institute for Health (RIVM) found.
However, Rutte said some pandemic restrictions are still needed for now, including keeping nightclubs and restaurants closed after midnight.
An attempt to lift most restrictions, including on night life, on June 26 had to be cancelled two weeks later after cases in young adults surged.
“The beginning of the summer taught us that we really have to be cautious,” Rutte said. However he said colleges would be allowed to reopen at the end of August without students being required to observe social distancing rules in class.
Around two-thirds of Dutch people aged 16 and older are fully vaccinated, and 90% say they have had or plan to have a vaccine.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Chris Reese and Barbara Lewis)