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Netherlands to reopen primary schools from 11 May

In Belgium, school will start again in May, according to Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo. Credit: Pixabay

The Dutch government announced on Tuesday that it will partially reopen primary schools and day-care centres from 11 May, as part of an easing of measures to contain the coronavirus spread.

Primary school pupils will be able to resume their classes on a “part-time” basis, alternating between school and home education, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at a press conference. This followed the advice of government scientists that children appear to be less likely to contract and transmit the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Netherlands, which opted to promote the development of herd immunity and”smart containment” with more flexible rules than its neighbours, is following the example of Germany and some Scandinavian countries which have also started to reopen their schools.

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“These are difficult compromises, but it is better to be careful now than to regret later,” Rutte warned. As for secondary schools, they can prepare for a partial reopening from 2 June, the prime minister said.

The closure of restaurants and cafés has been extended until 19 May, and the ban on gatherings will be in place until 1 September.

This extension means, among other things, that the football season will be suspended until at least the end of the summer, Rutte said.

According to the latest count by the authorities, 34,134 cases of coronavirus have been detected in the Netherlands, including 3,916 deaths.

The Brussels Times