Due to the high number of coronavirus infections, the Netherlands has been tightening its restrictions since Saturday. The country’s prime minister, Mart Rutte, said the “mild” lockdown would be in place for three weeks. He informed, inter alia, that gastronomy and some shops will have to shorten their opening hours, and sports events will take place without the participation of the public.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at the conference on Friday that it was necessary to introduce decisive measures to fight the COVID-19 epidemic in the country, and as the reason he cited the highest number of coronavirus infections recorded on Thursday since the start of the pandemic.
“A return to the restrictions we know from earlier stages of the pandemic is inevitable,” he said. Rutte said there will be a “mild” lockdown in the Netherlands for at least three weeks from next Saturday. He argued that “the virus is everywhere and must be fought everywhere”.
Sports events without an audience, shops and gastronomy will close earlier
Rutte informed that from the next Saturday the gastronomy will be open from 6.00 to 20.00. In accordance with the introduced restrictions, stores must be closed at 18.00. grocery stores and pharmacies.
Sports events may take place, but without the participation of the public. The next Netherlands-Norway match will therefore be held in Rotterdam with empty stands. Schools, theaters and cinemas will remain open.
The government has recommended that more than four guests should not be hosted at this time. Mark Rutte also called for work from home, if possible.
From Saturday, the rule of keeping the distance of 1.5 meters where the sanitary pass will not be in force has been reintroduced.
In December, the decision on further restrictions was made
The restrictions in the Netherlands will apply for three weeks. – On Friday, December 3, we will inform about further decisions – Rutte said.
The restrictions are intended to stop the rapidly growing number of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections. Friday is the second consecutive day in which the number of infections has exceeded 16,000. These are the highest daily balance sheets recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. Previously, the highest number of infections – around 13,000 – was in December last year.
In the Netherlands, almost 85 percent. the adult population has been fully vaccinated. Since the start of the pandemic, 2.27 million cases have been reported in the country and 18,695 people have died.
Protests against decisions on restrictions
The police in The Hague were put on high alert. About 100 opponents of the government’s policy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic gathered in the vicinity of the Ministry of Justice, where the Prime Minister’s conference was held. According to “NPO radio 1”, several people who tried to get into the building were arrested.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ROB ENGELAAR