Retailers and catering companies are very disappointed that the cabinet has not announced a relaxation of the lockdown rules on Tuesday evening.

They call it a "bitter pill".

Here and there, however, positive voices can be heard about a step-by-step plan presented by the cabinet on Tuesday, stating that some more flexible rules may be introduced at the end of April.

Last week, it leaked that the cabinet was considering opening terraces on April 21 and reducing restrictions on stores.

But shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Mark Rutte made it clear that there was no room for relaxation.

He emphasized this again during the press conference on Tuesday evening.

Rutte did mention April 28, the day after King's Day, as a possible date on which some of the restrictions will be lifted.

However, the prime minister kept a tough blow and said that any changes will depend mainly on how many hospital admissions there will be in the coming weeks.

Entrepreneurial organizations VNO-NCW and SME Netherlands consider a longer lockdown unnecessary and argue that the catering industry has protocols to open terraces safely.

The catering association KHN also calls it extremely disappointing and a missed opportunity for the cabinet.

"The catering industry can play a role in reducing the virus, because everyone can meet there safely and remotely."

Criticism also comes from shopkeepers.

Association for non-food sellers INretail believes that there is indeed room for relaxation, because entrepreneurs have plans to open their stores in a safe way.

"The sector is in a stranglehold and goes bankrupt. The money has run out and many entrepreneurs now have to live on their private savings. Let entrepreneurs do business and let people shop", they add.

Need more financial support for entrepreneurs

VNO-NCW and mkb Nederland would like to see the current corona support package expanded, because many entrepreneurs have had no income for almost a year, for example travel organizations.

In addition, existing support measures must be extended.

In the cabinet's current plans, many schemes will expire on 1 July.

KHN also advocates expanding the package.

However, the two associations are pleased with the plan presented on Tuesday, which states how sectors can gradually reopen and in which steps.

For example, this plan lists a number of dates on which shops may receive more customers and, for example, terraces, tanning salons and sports clubs may reopen.

However, this only happens if the number of infections and especially the hospital admissions allow it.