by Eduard Schaepman, on 1 Oct 2020
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge confronted the Dutch with the increase of positive corona tests, they implemented a few adapted measures, shouted very loudly that people should work from home, and after some gentle questions from a few carefully selected journalists, the gentlemen left the scene. You need to clear up the uncertainty that you have as a citizen, as a father, and especially as an entrepreneur, yourself, with the help of https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19/vraag-en-antwoord/persconferentie-coronavirus-28-september-in-eenvoudige-taal.
And there was a lot unclear, I can tell you. First of all, there was another appeal to work from home, but that’s exactly the nr. 1 source of infections! There’s no good ventilation, not enough space, no plexiglass plates between the visitors, no signage to make those 1.5M clearly visible... It's even safer to work in the office! Especially with us: with a thermal camera for health check, strict 1.5M separations, custom routing, hand gels, mouth caps, and custom ventilation so that viruses and bacteria are killed. This way you can work corona proof.
Ventilation is not only grandmother's advice, but really important, as can be seen from a comparison of RTL of the corona figures on September 28th (https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nieuws/artikel/5186182/besmettingen-corona-europa-nederland-amsterdam-den-haag-ranglijst-kaart). The card shows the number of positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants in the last week. If we zoom in on the Benelux, we see a 'nice' yellow Germany, less infections per 100.000 than in our red little country (and the same number of tests have been conducted per 1.000 inhabitants). The big difference lies in the approach: they performed a proper source and contact research already back in April, clusters were tackled at the core but above all they understood the importance of ventilation... In August Merkel already reported that aerosols play a major role in the spread, and they started acting on it. In the meantime, a large-scale approach has also been started to make indoor spaces as safe as possible by means of ventilation and air purification. That is what I call taking action. And with us? Our government only reluctantly admits that ventilation is important after a reporter asks about it...
Anyway, back to the custom measures. At home you are now allowed to meet with four people, but in one room you are allowed to meet with 30 people. That's where I got a short circuit in my head, and the central government site doesn't make it any better. There are so many exceptions to this rule that I really don't know when it's going to last. Oh yeah, and at home you can have as many children under the age of 12 as you want, as long as you can keep that 1.5M. Outside you can get together with a maximum of 40 people, and those children under the age of 12 do count again. Do you still get it? Outside the children are a danger, inside they are not?
So inside (but not at-home-inside) you may get together with a maximum of 30 persons. But is that inside-one-building? No, according to the government it is 30 people per room, on the condition that it is possible to keep a distance. Check, I can follow that. With 30 people in a large meeting room with 1.5M distance is just fine. That's great news, then the meetings can continue as usual. But in the same context on the website of the central government we also find the exception: ‘In indoor spaces where people are mainly in one place, such as restaurants, theaters, or at a wedding or funeral, everyone has a fixed seat, without rotation. Of course, everyone keeps a distance of 1.5 meters. In larger halls or rooms where more than 100 people can gather, it is mandatory to make a reservation in advance and a health check will take place'. But that means that instead of 30 people, more than 100 people can get together, as long as there is enough space, one can make a reservation in advance and have a fixed seat? To be sure that in our industry more than 30 people are really allowed to come together on the above conditions, also the following exception: 'companies and other organizations that carry out daily activities and if there is a maximum of 100 people per room'. Do you still follow it? #Daretoask.
I'm not even going to try to understand it anymore, because when I read these lists I only come to one conclusion: the government itself doesn't know either. You have to be able to keep at least 1.5M distance, and if you can register in advance, then you can get together with more than 100 people. Well, conclusion: as long as you can keep 1.5M, and register health, you can do whatever you want. And the message from our press conference is clear: you are still welcome in our corona proof locations!