The Netherlands is back on lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge
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The Dutch government announced the restrictions on Friday, Nov. 12, after new infections exceeded 16,000 for two days straight, straining hospitals. Those numbers bested the previous record of just under 13,000 cases in one day set back in December of 2020.
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The government imposed a partial lockdown for the next three weeks.
The new rules as listed on the City of Amsterdam official site, impose a 6 p.m. closing time on non-essential shops such as clothing stores. Essential shops such as supermarkets must close by 8 p.m, along with restaurants, pubs and clubs.
The rules also forbid spectators at major sporting events. That will no doubt disappoint fans hoping to attend the Dutch soccer team’s upcoming World Cup qualifier against Norway.
Officials also recommended that residents abide by a “no more than four” visitors rule at their homes. Residents are encouraged to work from home if possible.
In a televised address on Friday, Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, “Tonight we are bringing a very unpleasant message with very unpleasant and far-reaching measures,”
He added, “The virus is everywhere and needs to be combated everywhere.”
According to the World Health Organization, the Netherlands has seen 2,253,031 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 18,663 deaths since the pandemic began.
Like much of Europe, travel protocols for the Netherlands have changed throughout the year. During the summer, U.S. visitors were allowed to travel with fewer restrictions. More recently, in September the Netherlands reversed course on quarantine mandates.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently lists the Netherlands at a Level 4 Travel Advisory and suggests avoiding travel to the country due to the high level of coronavirus cases.
In what is now being dubbed the “Eurosurge,” the CDC Level 4 list of countries currently includes, among other countries, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, Ukraine and Austria.
Featured image by Nisangha/Getty Images.
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