As Covid soars, the Dutch resort to a state of partial lockdown. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the first partial lockdown of the winter on Friday, with three weeks of Covid restrictions on restaurants, stores, and sporting events.
Protesters set off fireworks in The Hague after Rutte announced the “annoying and far-reaching” restrictions in response to a record-breaking increase in infections to more than 16,000 a day.
Rutte stated at a press conference that the situation required a “hard blow of a few weeks since the infection is everywhere, across the country, in all sectors, and in all ages.”
“Fortunately, the great majority of people have been immunised; otherwise, the anguish in hospitals would be unfathomable at the present.”
From Saturday, bars, restaurants, cafés, and supermarkets must close at 8:00 p.m., while non-essential establishments must close at 6:00 p.m.
People will be restricted to four visits each day and are encouraged not to work from home unless absolutely required.
Public activities will be cancelled, and football matches, including the Netherlands’ next home World Cup qualifier against Norway, will be played behind closed doors.
Schools, on the other hand, will stay open, and individuals will be free to leave their houses. Rutte noted that the government will examine the situation on December 3 to see whether more measures are required.
These might include requiring Covid cards to enter the workplace and enabling pubs and restaurants to restrict admission to persons who have been vaccinated or recovered from the sickness.
Currently, such cards are required to enter all cafés, pubs, and restaurants, but they are also accessible to people who have passed a drug test.
Cases have risen sharply after the Dutch government abolished most Covid restrictions on September 25th, less than two months ago.