Letter from Mayor Tjapko Poppens 1 May 2020
1 may 2020
Dear citizens of Amstelveen,
We have been home for over six weeks now. We work from home, we educate our children at home, we try to stay fit and healthy at home, we even celebrated King's Day at home last Monday. We are all trying to make the best of it, but the longer it takes, the more effort it takes. We want our normal lives back. Back to work, seeing friends and family, doing simple things that were taken for granted six weeks ago. Hop into the hairdresser, the sports club or the cafe.
Unfortunately, that is not on the cards for the time being. Although the measures taken in recent weeks have resulted in a decrease in the number of infections and seriously ill people, the hospitals are still full and it will take very little for another outbreak to occur. For this reason, nothing much will change in the short term: almost all measures will remain in place and we will continue to ensure that the rules are complied with.
Last week, however, the government took the first cautious steps towards giving children and young people some more space. From the 11th of May 2020, primary school students will be partially able to go back to school, childcare will open and children will be allowed to play sports outside again under supervision. Schools in secondary education are making preparations to reopen in June. The schools, childcare and sports associations are putting in great efforts to get this organised. Since 29 April 2020, a number of facilities in the public space have reopened.
Although it is not much yet, it does show that we are entering a new phase. A phase in which we are slowly receiving a little more freedom. It is vital that we deal with this in a responsible and sensible way. Over the past few weeks we have shown that we are able to do this. I would like to give you a huge compliment for that.
But we are not there yet. We still have to persevere and stick to the measures, while we start considering how to reopen our city soon. With more distance from each other in the public space, washing our hands more often and avoiding crowded places. It will be a way of living together while we are not yet certain what it will look like. It is good to notice that many people are already considering these aspects and that many good examples are already in place. As local government, we want to support the optimism and creativity we see among residents and organisations as much as possible.
While we can now carefully start looking ahead, it is essential that we do it together - also in this phase. Many people have concerns about their family situation, their work, their income, their health or that of others. The way out of this crisis will be long and difficult. It will be done in small stages, but step by step we are building the recovery of our society and our city.
I wish you much strength and all the best.
Mayor of Amstelveen