Curfew likely to affect exam schedules

Pending approval by the House of Representatives later today, there will be a curfew in the Netherlands between 20.30 and 4.30, until 9 February. Universities and students continue to hope that an exception will be made for exams scheduled in the evening.

The curfew Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s caretaker cabinet plans to impose was announced yesterday. Rutte called the introduction of the curfew – on top of the lockdown measures already in place – a drastic measure necessitated by grave concerns about new, more infectious strains of the coronavirus.

Many infections are currently taking place in the home, among family and friends. The ban on being outside from mid-evening should result in fewer people visiting and meeting each other. The number of daily visitors allowed per household will also be further restricted, to just one.

No exception for exams

The curfew will have a number of exceptions. A draft version of the proposal included an exception for students travelling to take previously scheduled exams, but this passage was later withdrawn.

Universities, universities of applied sciences and student organisations are calling on the House of Representatives to reinstate this exception. ‘Cancelling these exams will have far-reaching implications for the academic progress of an enormous number of students.’

If the government manages to secure support for the new measure, anyone outside after curfew without a valid reason risks a 95 euro fine. The House will debate the proposal later today. If approved, the curfew will take effect on Saturday or Sunday.

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