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Watch the livestream of the press conference here.

Read here what Rutte and Kuipers say about the relaxation


The 49th corona press conference will start at 7 pm, also the very first of brand new minister Ernst Kuipers.

In this live blog you will read the most important announcements by Rutte and Kuipers, plus answers to the questions that journalists ask in the room.

a few seconds ago

Rutte: "In addition to the high infection figures, people wonder: how much longer? The question comes from all sides: how long? There is advice for a few relaxations, but it is not possible all at once. I hope everyone there understands. I understand very well that it feels unfair for the catering and cultural sector that they are not allowed to open yet, but the sum determines the risk. The support packages for these sectors will continue. January 25th is a new weighing moment, then we will see to the catering industry, museums and theaters, but it is not yet certain that anything is possible, and that does not take away the pain."

a few seconds ago

Rutte: "You may have thought: a new cabinet, a new way of communicating. That will not come tonight, but later this month, when we come up with a new plan to inform people."

a few seconds ago

a few seconds ago

Prime Minister Rutte and Minister Kuipers are there, the press conference is about to start.

a few seconds ago

Angry professional clubs threaten to open stadiums to the public demonstratively.


Professional football clubs are angry because no relaxations have yet been announced in their sector.

Since November, the matches have been played in empty stadiums, while audiences are allowed in many neighboring countries.

If nothing changes before January 28, the clubs will ask their mayors to open demonstratively.

a few seconds ago

By showing graphs, Ernst Kuipers takes a different approach than his predecessor Hugo de Jonge.

Just like at his press conferences about hospital figures, the new health minister will use graphs tonight.

Communication experts think the use of visual support is a smart move, but they also warn of pitfalls.

Read more

here

.

a few seconds ago

The screen that Ernst Kuipers will use in a moment to visually reinforce his words is already ready.

a few seconds ago

a few seconds ago

It may take some getting used to right away, because the press conference will look different.

The location and presence of Mark Rutte are the same, but instead of Hugo de Jonge, the new Health Minister Ernst Kuipers will be standing next to the Prime Minister.

Kuipers already announced that he would use images.

In addition, the sign interpreter will no longer be in the same room, but in a different room.

However, the deaf and hard of hearing need not fear, because the interpreter will still be in the picture.

a few seconds ago

Soldiers stop helping hospitals


The help of soldiers with corona care in hospitals is no longer necessary. The sixty soldiers who assisted at the UMC Utrecht and the 25 who helped at VieCuri in Venlo had their last working day there on Friday, the Ministry of Defense reports. Soldiers still help with corona tests and vaccinations.



The armed forces sent doctors, nurses and other support staff with knowledge of logistics or administration, for example. For example, the hospitals were able to take over patients from other hospitals that could not cope with the corona pressure. In December, eight soldiers also worked in branches of the Zuyderland Medical Center in Heerlen and Sittard-Geleen, but they were no longer needed by Christmas.



The soldiers are leaving the hospitals at a time when healthcare is still busy due to the many corona patients and staff loss.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the soldiers were only deployed to empty the "high emergency", but they can and must now resume their normal activities.

That decision was taken in consultation with the Ministry of Health and the hospitals, the ministry said.

a few seconds ago

Kuipers shows graphs at press conference: 'Can also be a pitfall'


The corona press conference will be given a new look tonight.

For example, Minister Ernst Kuipers (Public Health) shows graphs.

A smart move, say communication experts in conversation with NU.nl.

However, they warn of pitfalls.

Read more

here

 .

a few seconds ago

Fewer trains due to sick staff or staff in quarantine


Because more and more train staff are staying home sick or are in quarantine due to a (possible) corona infection, fast intercity trains will run less often on the high-speed line (HSL) between Amsterdam and Rotterdam this weekend. According to the NS, this will happen three instead of five times an hour. The company points out to travelers that they can travel with the other Intercity Direct trains, the intercity Brussels or the regular intercity via Haarlem. This would limit the consequences of the cancellation on this route for travelers.



The NS sees that it is often very quiet on the train at the moment.

Currently, about a third of travelers take the train compared to the time before the corona pandemic.

NS previously canceled 'quiet' trains, so that the growing number of reports of illness could be accommodated.

a few seconds ago

a few seconds ago

RIVM reports record number of 35,521 positive tests


the day after the failure. RIVM received 35,521 reports of positive tests between Thursday and Friday morning. Never before has the institute received so many reports within 24 hours.



Thursday the institute reported 33,436 positive tests. However, due to an outage, there was underreporting. It is likely that today's figures have been a little higher as a result, but according to a spokesperson for the RIVM, the number of positive tests today is "reasonably representative". Yesterday's reports will be processed in the coming days.



The old day record is exactly one week old. Nearly 35,000 positive tests were then registered, partly due to reports of a previous malfunction.



In the past seven days, RIVM received 218,442 messages that the coronavirus had been diagnosed.

That equates to an average of 31,206 cases per day.

The average is rising for the seventeenth day in a row.

a few seconds ago

Horeca will remain closed for a while, possibly open in ten days Horeca


entrepreneurs have to be patient a little longer.

There will be no relaxation for the sector at the corona press conference on Friday evening.

The Hague sources report that there is "short-term perspective".



The cabinet reportedly wants to reassess the situation in ten days.

If no strange things happen during that period, the catering industry may also open its doors again under certain conditions.



Full reopenings of higher education and MBO will most likely be announced tonight.

In addition, shops may be open again until 5 p.m. from Saturday - without customers having to make an appointment before their visit - and there will be more possibilities for both indoor and outdoor sports.

a few seconds ago

Fewer than a thousand patients in the nursing ward


for the first time since November 1

In total, there are now 954 corona patients in that nursing ward, 48 fewer than yesterday.



There are still 334 corona patients in intensive care, a decrease of 24 compared to Thursday.



In total, there are now 1,288 corona patients in Dutch hospitals.

The LCPS expects the influx of new corona patients to increase this month, due to the circulation of the more contagious omikron variant of the virus.

a few seconds ago

Marechaussee refused more than 2,100 travelers in 2021.


Last year, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee stopped 2,109 travelers who wanted to go to the Netherlands, but were not allowed to do so due to the corona measures.

The Marechaussee will announce this on Friday.



The majority of these persons (1,677 people) were stopped at Schiphol.

At Hoek van Holland, about three hundred people were told that they were not allowed to enter the Netherlands.



Among the travelers were, for example, people who came from a country for which a European entry ban has been introduced.

By far the most refused tourists tried to enter our country from the United Kingdom.

Because of Brexit, those more than 900 people were not exempted from the entry ban.

a few seconds ago

Mayor of Amsterdam does not tolerate opening of catering and culture


The municipality of Amsterdam expects entrepreneurs in the catering and culture sector to continue to comply with the corona rules and therefore remain closed.

"There is no tolerance policy," Mayor Femke Halsema said through her spokesperson.



Several mayors from the country have

announced

that they will turn a blind eye to the opening of shops, catering and cultural institutions on Saturday.

They see it as a demonstration against the strict lockdown.

a few seconds ago

a few seconds ago

Mayors of South Limburg allow catering and culture to open on Saturday


Fifteen mayors from South Limburg want to give catering and cultural institutions the space to open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The mayors of Maastricht, Sittard-Geleen and Heerlen, among others, report this in a joint press release on Friday.

Read more

here

.

a few seconds ago

This is what we now know about Kuipers' first corona press conference


The 49th corona press conference will be different than usual.

After 48 press conferences, the measures will be announced in a new jacket.

What's different?

Here's what we know about Friday night's corona press conference.

Read more

here

.

a few seconds ago

38

Increase in suicides among young people: 'Making contacts with limits'

a few seconds ago

Italian police do not want pink mouth caps


The Italian police union is not happy about the color of the mouth caps they have to wear during their service.

The Interior Ministry has chosen pink, an "unsuitable" color that would damage the reputation of agents.



"This purchase is puzzling," the union wrote to the department.

After two years with the virus, it should be easy to order a suitable mouth cap, says the protest letter.

The agents prefer black, white or blue.

a few seconds ago

Minister of the Interior understands mayors, but points to public health


Minister Hanke Bruins Slot of the Interior understands mayors who actually want to turn a blind eye to entrepreneurs who violate the corona rules. "On the other hand, we have agreed rules with each other in the interest of public health."



Mayors themselves are responsible for enforcing the corona rules. A number of mayors have indicated that they will turn a blind eye to the opening of shops and catering on Saturday. They see it as a demonstration against the strict lockdown. 



In Valkenburg, Limburg, shopkeepers, pub owners and restaurateurs are allowed to open their doors on Friday.

"It shows that entrepreneurs are having a hard time at the moment," says Bruins Slot.

She understands "that mayors try to stand up for their entrepreneurs. On the other hand, mayors also have an important task regarding enforcement".

According to the minister, mayors are trying to find a balance.

a few seconds ago

a few seconds ago

Swedish Prime Minister Andersson tests positive for coronavirus


Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (54) has tested positive for the coronavirus, her spokesperson said on Friday.

She will continue to work at home and feels good "according to the circumstances".



Earlier this month, the Swedish king, queen and crown princess also became infected with the corona virus.



Sweden is currently in a fourth wave of infection with about 25,000 positive tests per day.

The pressure on hospitals is increasing.

Infections are expected to increase to 70,000 per day by the end of January.

a few seconds ago

Valkenburg shops and catering open as a demonstration


Many shops in Valkenburg aan de Geul opened their doors this morning at 10:00 am. Mayor Daan Prevoo of the Limburg municipality allows the opening of the cases. According to him, it is a demonstration, and that is a fundamental right.



Catering owners mainly care about the statement, not about the turnover. "It is not fair that the cabinet wants to close the catering industry," says restaurant owner Sophie Frederiks. Clothing store owner Maurice Dieren also thinks turnover on Friday is not that important. "January and February are always quiet months anyway," he says. "It's about the underlying idea. I do think that the catering industry should also open."



Not all catering establishments in Valkenburg are participating in the opening.

A few don't let guests in, but keep it for takeaway.



Also in Alblasserdam, non-essential businesses open on Fridays.

The business association says that it concerns about thirty cases.

Chairman Gert-Jan van Dommelen explains: "We cannot continue to yo-yo with lockdowns."

a few seconds ago

135

Mayors are fed up: 'At least back to evening lockdown'

a few seconds ago


Three

thousand companies still in uncertainty about corona support

These are companies that have in principle been entitled to benefits since December, but the cabinet is still waiting for approval from Brussels.

Read more

here

.

a few seconds ago

Djokovic will be expelled from Australia and will not be able to participate in the Australian Open


Novak Djokovic was told on Friday that he must leave Australia after all.

The Immigration Minister has revoked the tennis player's visa, preventing the world's number one from participating in the Australian Open.

Read more

here

.

a few seconds ago

Also last year parties in British Prime Minister's residence, without Johnson


Employees of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrated two farewell parties in the official residence at 10 Downing Street last spring. This happened on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral.

About thirty people attended both parties.

Johnson himself was not there, 

The Telegraph

reports .

Read more

here

.

a few seconds ago

Slightly more deaths than usual in the first week of the new year


An estimated 3,450 people died in the first week of 2022, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports.

That is almost 150 more than expected for this time of year.

Read more

here

.

a few seconds ago

The omikron variant of the coronavirus is circulating.

This is also the case in our neighboring countries, where several contamination records have been broken in recent days.

How are Germany, Belgium and France actually dealing with the current omikron wave?

a few seconds ago

98

Why are other countries shortening quarantine while omikron is going around?

an hour ago

Two new COVID-19 treatments approved by WHO


The World Health Organization WHO has approved two new COVID-19 treatments. Health service experts write in the 

British Medical Journal

 that a combination of corticosteroids and the drug baricitinib, which is prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, improves the survival chances of seriously ill corona patients. Also, less ventilation would be needed. This relieves the pressure on ICs.



People who are not seriously ill but who are at high risk of ending up in hospital, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, benefit from treatment with the drug sotrovimab, according to the WHO.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved this drug in December.



Whether the two treatments are effective in the omikron variant of the coronavirus is still uncertain, according to the WHO.

The organization has approved three other treatments to date.

5 hours ago

Spain to offer fourth corona vaccination


More and more European countries are going to offer risk groups a fourth corona vaccination. The Spanish health ministry announced on Thursday that vulnerable citizens are eligible for such a second booster. Earlier in the day, Hungary already announced that it would offer a fourth shot. Denmark did this on Wednesday.



The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is still unsure about the usefulness of a fourth vaccination. Yet more and more EU countries are now working on it. The Hungarian government said on Thursday that anyone can get a fourth shot after consulting a doctor. Denmark makes the dose available to vulnerable Danes who had a booster in the autumn.



Outside the European Union, people in Chile and Israel can receive a fourth vaccination.

6 hours ago

More than a quarter of prisoners in

PI Arnhem

tested


positive

It concerns 61 people.

"All of them have no to mild complaints," said the spokesperson.

The first three infections were discovered ten days ago, after which more prisoners underwent a corona test after source and contact investigations.

Then nineteen people were found to be infected and all detainees had to be quarantined or isolated.

Yesterday, a new test among all inmates followed and another 42 infections were revealed, bringing the total to 61.





Anyone who tested negative yesterday can be released from strict isolation.

"A small part of the program will be offered to them from Friday. They can then shower, call, cook and air outside with a maximum of twelve people," said the spokesperson.



The coronavirus is circulating in more prisons.

Earlier today it was announced that nine prisoners in the PI in Middelburg have tested positive, as a result of which all 180 detainees are now in quarantine as a precaution.

Prisoners are also in quarantine in Krimpen and Grave, among other places.

6 hours ago

Griekenland beboet ongevaccineerde zestigplussers 
Ongevaccineerde zestigplussers in Griekenland krijgen vanaf 16 januari een boete van 100 euro per maand zolang ze niet zijn gevaccineerd. De Griekse regering benadrukt dat vaccinatie tegen COVID-19 dan verplicht is voor deze leeftijdsgroep.

Het besluit is genomen omdat negen van de tien overleden coronapatiënten zestig jaar of ouder waren, aldus de regering in Athene. En zeven van de tien coronapatiënten die aan de beademing moeten, zijn boven de zestig. Acht van de tien zijn ongevaccineerd.

Om het vaccineren aan te moedigen, is de verplichting voor zestigplussers eind november aangekondigd. Ze kregen tot 16 januari de tijd om een prikafspraak te maken. Volgens officiële gegevens van eind november was toen bijna 67 procent van de Griekse bevolking gevaccineerd, oftewel 79 procent van de volwassenen.

6 uur geleden

Omikronvariant nu ook in Duitsland dominant
De omikronvariant is de dominante variant van het coronavirus geworden in Duitsland. Het Robert Koch-Insti­tut, de Duitse evenknie van het RIVM, meldt dat momenteel 73,3 procent van de coronabesmettingen omikron betreft. Een week eerder was dat percentage nog 44,3. 

Voorheen gold de deltavariant als de dominante virusvariant in Duitsland. Die is nu nog goed voor 25,9 procent van de besmettingen. Het RKI verwacht in de komende weken een grote stijging van het aantal besmettingen met de omikronvariant te zien. Duitsland ziet het aantal coronagevallen snel oplopen en maakte donderdag melding van 81.000 nieuwe besmettingen, het grootste aantal sinds het begin van de pandemie.

In Nederland is de omikronvariant officieel al sinds 28 december dominant.

Terug omhoog

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