A majority of the House of Representatives approved on Thursday the cabinet’s proposal to introduce a curfew. They do want to change the starting time from 8.30 pm to 9 pm. A motion that coalition party D66 received support from VVD, CDA, ChristenUnie, SP, GroenLinks PvdA and 50PLUS.
The curfew will start on Saturday evening, according to Minister Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice).
In the House of Representatives, the disputed measure was debated for hours. Earlier the House voted in a motion against the introduction of the curfew.
The outgoing cabinet believes that the measure is now necessary to stop the further spread of the corona virus and the more contagious British mutation.
Several parties expressed their understanding for the need to intervene harder, although they also wondered whether a later start time for the evening clock was possible.
According to outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, there was not much room to tinker with that starting time. The original intention was to apply curfews from 8:30 pm to 4:30 am. That has now become half an hour later. “After that time the effectiveness of the measure decreases enormously,” said Rutte.
At the request of the Chamber, the starting time is therefore delayed half an hour to 9 p.m.
House agreed, but strong criticism remains
Although the House agrees to a curfew, there is also strong criticism from both the parties that still agree and the parties that remain against it.
Geert Wilders (PVV) called the curfew “extreme”. “We are losing our freedom en masse.” He points to what the cabinet itself could have done better to prevent it from having to come this far.
Wilders finds it incomprehensible that thousands of travelers from Great Britain have been able to travel freely for weeks. And if vaccination had started earlier, the Netherlands would be in a better position. “The whole of the Netherlands now has to pay the price for that blunder.”
There was great outrage from VVD, CDA, SP, GroenLinks and several other parties, among others, about the fact that the cabinet has still not taken action against companies and employers forcing their employees to appear for work, while a significant part of the infections continues to take place in work situations.
According to SP leader Lilian Marijnissen, it is bitter that the cabinet refuses to act against these employers and at the same time comes up with a drastic curfew.
Prime Minister Rutte said he agreed with the House that something must be done to make it possible to intervene harder. Outgoing Minister of Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus said he was going to work on the House’s call to tackle companies and employers harder.