The Netherlands confined from this Sunday and during the holidays

” It’s inevitable “. For the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the fifth wave of Covid-19 and the spread of the Omicron variant no longer leaves him a choice: health measures must be further strengthened. The country will therefore be placed this Sunday in “confinement”, for the Christmas holiday period, Mark Rutte announced on Saturday.

“I’m here tonight in a dark mood. To sum it up in one sentence, the Netherlands will return to containment, ”he said during a televised press conference. “We must intervene now as a precaution”, continued the Prime Minister.

Four New Year’s Guests

All non-essential stores, restaurants, bars, cinemas, museums and theaters must therefore close their doors from Sunday to January 14, while schools must keep their doors closed until at least January 9. At the same time, the number of guests that people are allowed to receive in their homes is reduced to two, except for Christmas, as well as the day before and the day after this day of December 25, and for the New Year period, when it will be four.

Looming “another Christmas which is completely different from what we would like”, recognized the head of government. But he insisted that “Omicron forces us to limit the number of our contacts as quickly as possible and as much as possible.” By his side, the head of the Dutch epidemic management team, Jaap van Dissel, estimated that Omicron would overtake the Delta variant to become dominant in the Netherlands by the end of the year.

The Prime Minister’s announcement comes just after an emergency government meeting and four days after further restrictions by authorities, including a week-long Christmas break in primary schools. Even before this “confinement”, long queues had formed in front of the stores during the day on Saturday. Many Dutch people were doing their Christmas shopping as reports have already started to circulate about new restrictions. Almost 86% of adults are vaccinated in the Netherlands.

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