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‘We can’t do that anymore!’: Dutch PM shakes hands after warning against it

Mark Rutte called on residents to stop shaking hands and instead do a ‘foot kiss’.

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte shakes hands before realising his mistake (PA, RTL Netherlands, AP)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte shakes hands before realising his mistake (PA, RTL Netherlands, AP)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte shakes hands before realising his mistake (PA, RTL Netherlands, AP)

The Dutch Prime Minister shook hands on stage after warning against the greeting in a speech at a news conference.

Speaking following a crisis meeting of government ministers on Monday to discuss the Covid-19 outbreak, Mark Rutte said: “From this moment on, we stop shaking hands.

“You can do a foot kiss, bump elbows, whatever you want. I see all kinds of great variations on shaking hands emerging at schools, but from today we stop shaking hands.”

As he wrapped up the press conference, he shook hands with Jaap van Dissel of the Public Health Institute, who quickly pointed out the premier’s error.

“Sorry, sorry, we can’t do that any more. Do it again,” Mr Rutte said, before bumping elbows with Mr Van Dissel.

As of 3pm on Tuesday, there are approximately 113,672 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, with 4,012 deaths reported globally linked to the illness.

PA