- Tighter restrictions have been imposed in the Netherlands due to an increase in Covid cases and concerns about the new Omicron variant.
- Cafes, museums, and movie theatres must close by 17:00 local time for at least the next three weeks (16:00 GMT).
The authorities deem the measures critical to keep the country’s hospitals from becoming overcrowded. In the meantime, 61 people are being tested for the new variant.
They arrived on two KLM flights from South Africa, where Omicron was discovered earlier this month. According to Dutch officials, the passengers tested positive for Covid-19 and have been quarantined at a hotel near Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport while further tests are conducted.
WHO has declared the variant “of concern,” with preliminary evidence indicating a higher risk of re-infection. Flights to and from South Africa and several neighboring countries have now been banned in several countries worldwide.
Last month, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced three weeks of restrictions on shops, sports, and catering. The Netherlands is running out of intensive care beds, operations are being canceled, and hundreds of people are dying from Covid every week, according to Anna Holligan in The Hague.
On Friday, more than 22,000 new daily cases were reported, and the new rules are intended to bring the record-high infection rate under control, according to our correspondent.
The Dutch government has published the complete list of restrictions, which include the following:
- Non-essential stores must close between 17:00 and 05:00 p.m. local time.
- Cinemas, theatres, saunas, and “contact professions” are all closed at 17:00.
- Supermarkets, pharmacies, and wholesalers must be closed between the hours of 20:00 and 05:00.
- Sports facilities, both indoor and outdoor, must close at 17:00.
- Evening training sessions and sports matches for professional athletes, on the other hand, may continue.
- At people’s homes, a maximum of four guests over the age of 13 is permitted.
- As many people as possible should be able to work from home.
Source: BBC News