SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Primary schools and daycare centres will not reopen before January 18, education minister Arie Slob confirmed on Thursday. ‘I wish it was otherwise,’ Slob said.
‘But opening schools earlier is not on the cards, because the healthcare system is still too much under pressure from coronavirus.’ In addition, the cabinet has agreed that children under the age of 12 should also undergo tests if they have coronavirus symptoms.
Government advisors recommended including younger children in the testing system in an effort to further stem the spread of the virus, particularly the British variant which has been found in a Rotterdam primary school.
Until now, children under the age of six have not been tested. Those aged seven to 12 are only tested if they have a temperature or have breathing problems, or if they have been in contact with someone with coronavirus.
A further 9,719 positive coronavirus cases were reported to the public health institute RIVM in the 24 hours to Thursday 10am. That is a rise of 232 on Wednesday and higher than the average over the past week.