The most important news from PM Rutte’s press conference was already leaked to the press on Tuesday afternoon: primary schools will be reopening their doors after the May holidays. Pupils will be allowed back into schools for half of the time, in half-filled classrooms.
If everything goes according to plan, secondary schools will follow from 2 June onwards. These schools will have to figure out how one and a half metres of distance can be maintained during classes.
Experts have advised the cabinet to first wait to see how the restricted reopening of primary schools goes. After that, academic universities and universities of applied sciences may be allowed to follow suit, but the cabinet has not yet reached a decision on that score. Higher education was not discussed during the press conference.
Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers will remain closed until 19 May. Officially, this date also applies to higher education, says a spokesperson of the ministry.
However, universities and universities of applied sciences are already expecting that date to be pushed back. They’re expecting to remain closed for the entirety of this academic year and are considering keeping social distancing in place when resuming education in September.
Events are banned until 1 September, stated Rutte. There will be no professional football, and the Zwarte Cross and Pinkpop festivals will also be cancelled. It may therefore be inferred that the introductions of universities and universities of applied sciences — which usually take place at the end of August — will have to be moved or cancelled entirely.
The basic rules remain in place: stay at home and work from home as much as possible. Keep at least one and a half metres’ distance.