Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was unable to visit his mother in the weeks leading up to her death due to coronavirus restrictions, but he did stay with her on her final night, his spokesman told CNN Tuesday.
Rutte announced Monday that his mother, 96-year-old Mieke Rutte-Dilling, had passed away on May 13. She did not die of Covid-19.
The PM also paid tribute to her in a statement. “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,” he wrote. “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.”
Rutte’s announcement comes after other political figures have faced questions about their behavior under lockdown.
The latest scandal to unfold took place in the UK, after it was revealed that Dominic Cummings, the chief political aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, had traveled 260 miles across England a time when the public was being urged not to leave their homes.
Rutte’s spokesman told CNN Tuesday that the Dutch Prime Minister “complied with all the coronavirus restriction measures and didn’t visit his mother for more than eight weeks.”
“However, the restriction measures leave room to say goodbye to a dying family member during the very last phase. The Prime Minister stayed with his mother during her last night.”
The Netherlands imposed restrictions more than two months ago, in mid-March, to prevent the spread of the virus.
As of Tuesday, the virus has infected more than 45,000 people in the country and killed more than 5,800, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The Netherlands has been slowly easing restrictions, with secondary schools, cafes and restaurants slated to reopen in June, according to Reuters.