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Student organisations about curfew: last bit of freedom gone?

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The Dutch governent is expected to announce a curfew this Wednesday. According to the Dutch public broadcasting service, NOS, the curfew will come into effect every night from Friday, between 8:30pm and 04:30am. Organisations representing the interests of university students are already putting their two cents in.

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The cabinet has been considering a curfew for weeks. It looks like the measure will finally be announced this Wednesday, according to several news outlets. If true, no one will be allowed on the street between 8:30pm and 04:30am.

Disproportionate
Even though the curfew hasn't been officially annouced yet, Dutch student unions have already expressed their opinion about it. LSVb, the association of Dutch student unions, has called the procedure "disproportionate". According to chairperson Lyle Muns, "young people are barely able to keep their head above water. More and more students have been turning to us to report mental issues like apathy or suicidal thoughts. A curfew would take away the last bit of freedom they have."

Besides, the measure wouldn't even be effective, ponders the association. "It's almost impossible to manage the rules already in place. If the police will also need to make sure that everybody is home in the evening, there will be less cops available to deal with real excesses", declares Muns, adding that restricting air traffic would be a much more effective measure to contain the British strain of the coronavirus.

No firm conclusions
Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg, an organisation representing the interests of students in higher education, understands LSVb's concerns regarding students' mental health, but refrains from drawing conclusions about the curfew. "If the experts decide that a curfew is necessary to fight the spread of the virus, who are we to say we know better than them?", counters chairperson Dahran Çoban. "I'm not the chair of the Outbreak Management Team".

However, she does agree with the LSVb that face-to-face classes should continue to be offered for as long as possible. Rapid corona tests and collaborations with big locations such as theaters and stadiums can help in that regard, the ISO finds. "Finally, students should still be able to attend classes even if a curfew is implemented".

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