Netherlands impose partial lockdown

Status: 13.11.2021 02:18 a.m.

The Netherlands have imposed a partial lockdown due to increasing numbers of infections. Bars and restaurants must close at 8 p.m. from today for at least three weeks. Sport now only takes place without an audience.

As the first Western European country, the Netherlands has imposed a partial lockdown for the autumn because of the sharply rising corona numbers. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in the evening in The Hague that gastronomy, shops and sports activities would be affected. Rutte’s announcement was overshadowed by violent clashes between around 200 opponents of the measures and the police.

The restrictions are due to come into force on Saturday evening. Bars, restaurants and shops have to close at 8 p.m., shops for non-urgent needs as early as 6 p.m. The Dutch are allowed to meet a maximum of four other people in their apartments and should work from home if possible. The leisure activities are again subject to strict restrictions: larger events have to be canceled and football matches will again take place without an audience. The schools should remain open, however, and there should be no exit restrictions.

“Hard blow for a few weeks”

“Fortunately, the vast majority are vaccinated, otherwise the misery in the hospitals would be immeasurable,” stressed Rutte. After the three-week period has expired, the government is planning to introduce a 2G rule for leisure facilities and restaurants: Then only those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered will be allowed to stay there.

Rutte spoke of a “hard blow for a few weeks”. As a justification he gave: “The virus is everywhere, in the whole country, in all industries and all age groups.” During Rutte’s press conference at the Justice Department, dozens of people gathered in front of the building to protest the measures. When they set off fireworks and threw stones, the police tried to drive them away with water cannons. An AFP journalist reported violent clashes between around 200 demonstrators and riot police and mounted police.

On Thursday, the Netherlands reported a new record for new corona infections; with more than 16,300 cases in 24 hours, the previous high of almost 13,000 last December was exceeded by far. The hospitals are already warning of impending overload. In the Netherlands, 82 percent of residents over the age of twelve are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Booster vaccinations are planned from December.

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