[Dutch] Cabinet: no more shaking hands, work in Brabant if possible at home

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In whole The Netherlands is not advised to shake hands. The government is making an urgent appeal to all Dutch people not to greet each other with a handshake for the time being. That way, the spread of the corona virus needs to be curbed.

“We think this is wise at this stage to contain the virus,” said Prime Minister Rutte at a press conference. Last Friday, after the weekly Council of Ministers, the prime minister said that shaking hands could be normal.

Cabinet members met for the second time tonight for crisis consultations about the coronavirus. Representatives from RIVM, the police and the mayor of Den Bosch were also present. North Brabant is the province with the most infections.

Unnecessary contacts

Rutte called on people in Brabant to work at home if possible. That advice is valid for at least the next seven days to prevent unnecessary contacts between people. We also look at events that are on the agenda in that province in the coming period. Whether they can continue and on what scale will be decided per event.

Despite the urgent calls, we are still in the first phase, according to the prime minister of the outbreak, which aims to contain the virus. “Our goal is to stay in that first phase for as long as possible. We have to do that with all 17 million Dutch people. But we are a down-to-earth people.”

At the end of the press conference there was another moment as funny as it was somewhat painful when Rutte shook hands with director Jaap van Dissel of the RIVM, who was standing next to him. “That is no longer allowed,” said Van Dissel.

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