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Netherlands set to announce ‘strict’ lockdown – reports

Government considering closing schools and all non-essential shops, say local media

The Dutch government is expected to announce on Saturday a “strict” Christmas lockdown that would see everything but essential stores close amid fears over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Dutch media reported.

Nov 28, 2021: The new coronavirus variant Omicron has been detected in 13 people who arrived in the Dutch capital Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa.

The government is meeting on Saturday with its health experts who have recommended the closure of all non-essential shops, schools, bars, restaurants and other public venues.

Health ministry spokespman Axel Dees told Reuters there would be a government press conference to announce new measures at 7pm (6pm Irish time). He did not comment on the types of measures that would be announced.

In the city centre of Leiden some 20km outside of The Hague, people flocked to the main shopping street to get last-minute gift shopping done.

Some shops, such as toy stores and luxury skin care and cosmetics shops, had lines outside.

“It’s normally busy before Christmas but this much busier than usual,” Ali Windster, the manager of a cosmetics shop, told Reuters.

Carla Nekeman was at the counter stocking up on cosmetics.

“This lockdown sucks, I am getting a lot of the stuff I need that I can’t get in the supermarket. I’ll have to stand in line everywhere,” Ms Nekeman said.

Already on Tuesday the government ordered that the 5pm-5am closure of bars, restaurants and most stores, introduced in late November, would continue until January 14th.

Prime minister Mark Rutte said then that Omicron could be the dominant Covid-19 variant in the Netherlands by January.

On Friday, the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) reported 15,433 new Covid-19 cases, down about 25 per cent from a week earlier – but still above the peak of any previous wave.

The feared new wave of Omicron infections would further burden the country’s strained healthcare system which is already postponing most routine care and cancelling all but urgent operations in order to cope with Covid-19 patients. – Reuters

Mar 23, 2020: As most of the world practices social distancing, the Dutch are trying a different strategy to protect the vulnerable from the coronavirus: They’re aiming for so-called “herd immunity,” or what happens when enough people have survived the illness to effectively slow its spread.


Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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