This week marks one year since the widespread pandemic began and it’s also time for elections in The Netherlands.

There was some discussion if they should be postponed, but elections are a fundamental part of a democracy and is even more important now in order to ensure the road to recovery. It’s widely known that we do have a lot of political parties in The Netherlands, over 30 actually. The Liberal Party (VVD) is by far the largest in terms of support and is predicted to keep the pole position.

The “Party for Vacations”

The “Party for Vacations”, an informal initiative created by some of the country’s largest tour operators, was created to draw attention to the travel industry and the need for vacations. This sentiment is supported in a recent survey by GFK indicating that 84% of citizens long to go on a holiday. As in many places with growing widespread vaccines and containment, it is predicted that between May and June of this year we too will have eased restrictions. The “Party for Vacations” has established guidelines on safe travel including obligatory testing or proof of vaccination, along with strict rules while in travel status and at the destination. As part of their messaging they also cite that no one has contracted the virus while traveling. All of this is an effort to promote the travel industry and stimulate consumer demand for travel.

The white coats VS the blue coats

Meanwhile, the battle between “the white coats” and “the blue coats” continues. The white coats referring to the medical side of the pandemic; the blue coats referring to the economic side. The majority of the population is still abiding by the guidelines and restrictions, although support is waning. The curfew, which has been imposed for several months now, has an estimated adherence of less than 50%. While 92% of people claim to obey the rules, only 29% of the population believe in the consistency of the mandates.

Reason for optimism and positivity

As a new season is upon us, there is a reason for optimism and positivity for the future. The number of vaccines and the growing number of those vaccinated, along with readily available rapid testing and the possibility of travel beyond borders with a vaccination passport adds to the optimistic outlook. People are anxious to return to schools, gyms, offices, shopping – and the chance to meet old friends on a terrace as the weather gets warmer. These are certainly the things that we are looking forward to doing again soon.

Until next time, we hope that you too are finding optimism in your own lives and communities as we continue on this road to recovery together.

Stay safe and stay healthy.