The consequences of the coronavirus are now very tangible in our country and therefore in Maastricht too. Yesterday, both the government and the Municipality of Maastricht took a number of measures to prevent the spread of the virus. These measures will have a major impact on the daily lives of us all. Institutions are closing, events are being cancelled and working as much as possible from home is the advice for the time being.
I sympathise with all the people, companies and institutions affected by the virus and its consequences. While everyone will understand that health and safety are paramount right now, the consequences for many of you are drastic. The city authorities sympathise with you. At the same time, I ask you all to support and help each other. Help fellow citizens who are struggling, who face health problems or are vulnerable for any reason. I know Maastricht as a city with an enormous social heart. Let that be evident and act as a support for people who need it. Take extra care of each other. We need each other.
For the Municipality of Maastricht, work will continue as much as possible in the period ahead. We are now focusing our efforts even more on caring for our residents. We will also continue our regular tasks as best we can. You will for example still be able to obtain things like passports and driving licenses, but digital handling of issues with the municipality is preferable. Your waste will also be collected as usual.
I would like to express my great respect to all those who are ensuring that our daily lives are continuing as normally as possible. I would also like to thank those working in care, education and others who are professionally committed to our fellow human beings. Thank you for your commitment, especially at this time!
Finally: be alert, follow recommendations and medical advice, but try not to panic. That will not help anyone. Live your life as normally as possible, but as I said, taking into account the advice and the measures taken. I thank you all for your understanding and cooperation. Should new measures be taken in the coming period, you will of course be informed.
Annemarie Penn-te Strake
Mayor of Maastricht