Dutch Prime Minister Announces No-Handshake Policy, Immediately Shakes Hands With Someone

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte immediately shook hands after announcing a no-handshake policy during a live television press conference Monday.

Rutte told the public that they should begin implementing other ways of greeting each other in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, BBC World reported. Moments later, Rutte shook the official’s hand who was standing next to him.

“Oh, sorry! We can’t do that anymore!” Rutte said after realizing what he had done. He then elbow-bumped the official while laughing and putting his hand on the man’s back.


People are allowed to “shake feet” or “touch elbows” as much as they’d like, but handshaking is banned, Rutte said during the speech.

“From now on we are stopping shaking hands,” Rutte announced. (RELATED: Here’s How To Prepare For The Coronavirus)

Rutte is not the only official to have immediately broken his or her own rules regarding combating the spread of the virus. Santa Clara County Public Health official Sara Cody held a press conference March 4 where she warned people not to touch their faces. Seconds later, Cody touched her own face.

The novel coronavirus has continued to spread worldwide. At least 747 people in the U.S. have tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday morning, according to the New York Times. At least 26 people have died in the U.S. as of Tuesday morning, the NYT also reported.