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Dutch prime minister didn't visit dying mother due to lockdown measures

Mark Rutte today announced the recent death of his 96-year-old mother in a care home in The Hague.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte at a press conference last week.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte at a press conference last week.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

DUTCH PRIME MINISTER Mark Rutte was unable to visit his dying mother in her final weeks because he obeyed coronavirus restrictions against visiting care homes, his office said today.

The news about Rutte emerged as the UK was dealing with a political row after allegations that Boris Johnsons’ chief aide Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules to travel cross-country to stay on his parents’ estate.

Rutte today announced the death of 96-year-old Mieke Rutte-Dilling in a home in The Hague on 13 May, nearly two months after the government shut all such institutions to the public on 20 March.

“The prime minister has complied with all directives”, Rutte’s spokesman told AFP when asked about reports that he had stuck to the rules and therefore had not seen his mother before she died.

His mother did not die of Covid-19, although there had earlier been an outbreak of the disease in the home where she was living, Dutch media reported.

Rutte earlier announced his mother’s death, saying that “in addition to the great sadness and all fond memories, my family and I also have a feeling of gratitude that we were allowed to have her with us for so long.”

We have now said goodbye to her in a family circle and hope to be able to deal with this great loss in peace in the near future.

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Dutch authorities allowed individual visits to some care homes from today, a measure that will be extended to all of them on 15 June.

The Netherlands – which has imposed an “intelligent lockdown” with less strict conditions than many other European countries – has so far recorded 5,830 coronavirus deaths and 45,445 infections

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