Dutch PM Apolgizes For Easing Covid Restrictions Too Early In Netherlands

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said he is sorry for easing Covid restrictions in his country last month.

Rutte claims that the decision to ease covid measures was too soon and had been a “miscalculation”.

The Netherlands de-escalated it’s restrictions last month, but have since seen case numbers rise to their highest levels this year. So far this has not translated into a significant increase in hospital admissions, as most of the new cases are among young people.

EuroNews reports: The Dutch government has since re-closed bars and clubs to combat the spike in new cases, driven by the Delta variant. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Rutte conceded that the decision to ease measures had been a “miscalculation”.

“What we thought was possible turned out to be wrong in practice. We made a miscalculation, we are disappointed about it and we apologise,” he said. The decision to reinstate some restrictions — just two weeks after they were lifted — has also led to strong criticism of the PM, and Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge.

Rutte admitted that the government had not been “self-critical enough” when reintroducing restrictions on Friday. The PM had said that the initial decision to relax measures was “logical and responsible at the time”.

But Rutte stated on Friday that the increase in infections was “going faster than the calculations said”. Along with early and full closures, social distancing will be reinforced. The measures are expected to last until August 13.