Marco Rimmelzwaan from Leidschendam has been Mark Rutte’s hairdresser for 15 years. Last October he took a picture with him (see above), after his business had reopened after a thorough renovation.
The ‘coupe prime minister’ is not too difficult for him: “Mark always wants the same, he does not like change,” he tells RTL Nieuws.
Hairdresser Marco was surprised by a phone call from Radio 538 last week, asking whether Rutte had already made an appointment now that it seems that the hairdressers may open again. “It will be coming Saturday next week,” said Marco. “He hasn’t been since Saturday, December 13th.”
Secretary makes an appointment
According to the hairdresser, the broadcast wrongly suggested that Rutte himself had planned an appointment. And that he is already anticipating what remains to be known; namely that the hairdressers open again.
“That is not the case, this agreement has already been made,” he says. “His secretary makes the appointments, she always plans ahead. So it is not the case that Rutte gets priority, he just has to join the back of the queue.”
At the beginning of February, it became clear during a debate in the House of Representatives that politicians are longing for the reopening of hairdressing salons, as can be seen below:
The hairdressers have been closed since December 15, just like all other contact professions in the Netherlands. Because even if the chance of a possible spread is small, the number of travel movements must be reduced as far as possible in the fight against corona. The government’s advice is still: stay at home as much as possible.
And that the scissors can be picked up again after 2.5 months is a great relief. “You hope that you can work again, everyone is fed up”, says Marco.
He does not employ any personnel himself. “That’s lucky for me. Larger hairdressing salons are really in trouble.”
Minister Wouter Koolmees (Social Affairs) says to continue to ‘prop up and support hairdressers’ with support packages. Yet many hairdressers appear to be left out. Earlier, the hairdressing industry told RTL Nieuws that 60 percent is ‘about to fall over’.
The weeks are now really starting to count for Marco. “That insurance is expensive, my savings have been consumed.”
Fortunately, the case can now be reopened, under certain conditions. Reservations are required and there must be a check for complaints. Mouth masks should also be worn and kept 1.5 meters away where possible.
Filling in forms, masks, mudguards, letting customers wait outside … those kinds of things had to be done after the first lockdown. “We may have to work in shifts, one from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm, in order to have as few customers as possible at the same time. Or that you can have one customer per 10 square meters. We see it. all are well, we will hear it automatically, “he says soberly.
Marco is looking forward to seeing the Prime Minister in his chair again. “He’s a regular here. You can have a good laugh with him”, says Marco. “We also have normal conversations about sports, holidays.”
And when it comes to politics? “That is often dismissed with a joke. Logical, he is also here for relaxation.”