In light of the rapid increase in the numbers of injuries and patients, the Netherlands is pulling the emergency brake. Partial closures will apply for the next three weeks. “These interventions are radical and will affect everyone,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Friday evening in The Hague.
Restaurants and supermarkets must close at 8 pm on Saturday, and other stores until 6 pm – this also applies to prostitutes.
The 1.5-meter distance rule has been reinstated, citizens must work at home again and receive a maximum of four visitors per day at home. Sports competitions must be held without an audience. This also applies to football matches, such as the Netherlands’ World Cup qualifier against Norway next Tuesday in Rotterdam.
The police used water cannons
The limited shutdown resistance is great. Businessmen, sports associations and restaurant owners responded indignantly. The Restaurant Association has warned that bar owners will not abide by the rules. “The limit has been reached. Businessmen are angry,” said the president of the Restaurant Association, Robert Willemsen.
Demonstrators took to the streets in The Hague. What began peacefully at first turned into a violent rebellion. There were street fights with the police.
Bottles and stones were thrown at the officers. Fireworks flew in the air. The police responded with water cannons. Violent clashes took place between about 200 demonstrators and the police. Five people were arrested. Nothing is known about the injured yet.
“The virus is ubiquitous, all over the country, and in all regions”
The partial closure is aimed at reducing friction and thus slowing new infections, as Root justified these measures. “The pressure on the health system is very high at the moment.” Experts advising the government on the pandemic also urgently advised a lockdown. “The virus is ubiquitous, all over the country, and in all regions.”
The government has been discussing the new measures since Thursday. Cinemas and theaters are excluded from the closure. Visitors only have to prove – as before – that they have been vaccinated, tested or cured. The caretaker government wants to extend this third generation base to businesses and possibly jobs as well. In addition, a 2G base will be offered for some areas – perhaps for bars and festivals.
The vaccination rate in the Netherlands is 82 percent
The state did not relax most of the rules until the end of September. But the situation worsened. This is despite the high level of vaccination: about 82 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
The first tightening was done ten days ago. Mask requirements have been extended again to public places such as stores. But many citizens did not abide by the rules. Enforcement in pubs, for example, has also been subject to little oversight.
Hospitals warn of an emergency
The number of new infections and the number of patients rose rapidly. On Thursday, 16,364 new infections were recorded – the highest value of the epidemic so far. The infection rate in the seven days is more than 500 – twice the rate of infection in Germany. The situation, especially in intensive care units, is so precarious that hospitals are already warning of an emergency.
By Friday morning, 259 new Covid patients had been registered within 24 hours. This is the highest number since May 15. 1,755 people are now being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals. (SDA/JM)
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