Until February 9, educational institutions, non-food stores and catering units will remain closed.
The Dutch government on Tuesday decided to extend restrictive measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus epidemic by at least three weeks. Pursuant to the decision
until February 9, educational institutions, non-food stores and catering units will remain closed.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at a press conference on Tuesday night that
its government is also considering introducing a curfew to further reduce the spread of the epidemic.
The Dutch government has so far refrained from doing so, arguing that this would unduly restrict citizens’ freedoms. The extension of the restrictive measures was necessary because the number of new infections did not decrease at the right pace and the spread of a new variant of coronavirus is also a cause for concern.
“We need to consider extra measures because we are most afraid of the new version of the virus”
Rutte said, adding that he would personally oppose the introduction of a curfew, for example.
The prime minister also warned against non-essential foreign travel. According to the rules, citizens returning from abroad or visiting the country must pass a negative test upon arrival and be quarantined for 10 days. According to data from the Dutch Institute of Public Health on Tuesday, the daily average number of new infections over the past seven days has been around five thousand. The vaccination program began on January 6 in the Netherlands, and so far about 44,000 people have been vaccinated.
More than twenty thousand people have already died from the epidemic in Belgium
In neighboring Belgium, the latest reports show an increase in the daily average of new infections by 27 per cent, while the number of hospital admissions fell by 10 per cent in one week. Last week, approximately 2020 people tested positive for the virus on a daily basis, and 130 people were admitted to health care facilities. The number of people killed in the epidemic over the weekend exceeded 20,000. Starting next week in the country, in addition to the vaccine developed by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer / BioNTech, health authorities will also start using the vaccine from Moderna.
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