AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte did not visit his 96-year-old mother for more than eight weeks until hours before her death this month due to lockdown measures in the Netherlands, his office said on Tuesday.
Mieke Rutte-Dilling died on May 13, Rutte’s office announced on Monday. She did not have the coronavirus, although there were COVID-19 infections at the nursing home where she lived.
“The prime minister complied with all the coronavirus restriction measures and didn’t visit his mother for (more than 8) weeks,” the premier’s office said in a statement.
“However the restriction measures leave room to say goodbye to a dying family member during the very last phase and the PM stayed with his mother during her last night.”
The details emerged amid controversy in Britain about a decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, to drive 250 miles (400 km) out of London during a mandatory coronavirus lockdown.
Cummings has defended his trip to stay on his family’s farm, saying his actions were reasonable in the circumstances as he was worried he would not have had child-care options if he and his wife contracted COVID-19.
His decision to travel during the lockdown has prompted fury among some in Britain, and several lawmakers from Johnson’s Conservative party demanded his dismissal after angry messages from voters.
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Mark Heinrich)