Wittenborg Cautiously Reopening Locations on 2 June Following Ease in Dutch COVID-19 Restrictions
From 2 June Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences will cautiously reopen all its locations in the Netherlands for appointment-only meetings and for students who wish to use its library or internet facilities, following a gradual ease in COVID-19 restrictions announced by the Dutch government Wednesday evening. Students and staff are strongly cautioned to adhere to those regulations that will remain in place such keeping a distance of 1,5m and newly issued ones like wearing a mask when using public transport from 1 June.
Wittenborg's chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, said all of its locations in the Netherlands – Apeldoorn and Amsterdam – will reopen on 2 June, but students who wish to see lecturers or support staff will have to make an appointment. In the meantime, classes will continue online until the end of the academic year in July, as the last block (7) will already be underway. For the first time Wittenborg's annual Summer Graduation Ceremony which was scheduled for 10 July, has been cancelled, and will be replaced by an online version.
Facemasks - people urged to avoid wearing medical-use facemasks
Only on public transport will the wearing of facemasks become compulsory, and Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, has emphasised that the public is not allowed to wear medical masks – which gives the best protection – because these are reserved for those who work in the care sector which is still experiencing a shortage. From 1 June everyone on public transport will nonetheless be obliged to wear a mask. If not, you risk being fined.
Rutte said "correct" wearing of a mask seems to have resulted in some positive effects. Especially when it comes to the protection of others since there are some circumstances – like traveling on public transport – which might not always allow keeping a distance from others.
Everyone will be responsible for obtaining their own mask, as long as it's not a medical mask. "You can buy one or make one yourself." Patterns for making your own mask are plenty on the Internet and the cabinet intends to set up a website describing the best way to sew a mask to cover your mouth and nose.
The most important dates in the easing of restrictions are the following:
- Primary schools will reopen under certain conditions;
- Businesses like hair and nail salons which requires close contact will reopen, but only by appointment and when clients have no symptoms;
- Outside sporting like tennis and golf will be allowed again, but no matches;
- Public transport will run on normal schedules again;
- High schools and colleges will reopen ;
- Museums, terraces and monuments will reopen provided people are kept 1,5m apart;
- Museum tickets will need to be purchased online;
- Restaurants, theatres and cinemas can reopen, but with a maximum of 30 people allowed inside;
- Camping and holiday parks may reopen fully;
- Restaurants, theatres and cinemas may now allow 100 people maximum;
- Contact sport and sport schools are allowed again;
- Saunas can reopen;
- Smaller events and sport matches allowed. It is unclear when big events like festivals and concerts will be allowed again;
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press