Netherlands eases coronavirus lockdown by allowing children to exercise

Youngsters will also return to school part-time under revised measures


Chiara Giordano, The Netherlands has eased some coronavirus lockdown restrictions, allowing children to exercise again.

From Wednesday, children aged 12 and under will be allowed to exercise outdoors together without any distance restrictions but they must be supervised.

Teenagers can also organise outdoor sports and games together but must stay 1.5 metres apart at all times.

No competitions are allowed, and children and young people must shower once they return home, new guidance issued by the Dutch government states.

Elite athletes are also allowed to train at designated training locations if they keep a distance of 1.5 metres from each other and take all hygiene measures.

Primary schools, including special primary schools, nurseries and childminders will all be able to open their doors on 11 May.

Pupils will attend primary school part time, with class sizes halved, while children enrolled at special schools can return full time.

Secondary schools have been advised to prepare for students returning part time from 2 June.

Advice on visiting the elderly has also been amended to allow one or two permanent people to regularly visit people aged 70 and over who live independently from Wednesday.

Large events such as sporting events remain banned until at least 1 September.

Venues such as bars, restaurants, fitness clubs, museums, theatres, which have been closed since mid-March, will remain shut until at least 19 May.

The Netherlands has urged people to stay home and follow social distancing advice while outside but has not strictly ordered people to stay indoors.

The majority of the population has followed what prime minister Mark Rutte has called the “intelligent lockdown.”

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Netherlands rose by 386 to 38,802 on Wednesday, the Netherlands’ Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said in its daily update.

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