Netherlands tighten rules for three weeks

The Netherlands are tightening their coronavirus rules for an initial period of three weeks in view of rapidly increasing case numbers. “Everyone has seen the alarming reports,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte this evening in The Hague. Consequences must now be drawn from this.

These include that from tomorrow evening on, all sporting events must take place without an audience. Cafes and restaurants must close at 10 p.m. and are not allowed to admit new guests after 9 p.m. In addition altogether only 30 humans may be at the same time in a restaurant, outside 40.

Maximum of three guests at home
For all contact professions such as hairdresser or masseur, customer registration is mandatory. Mouth and nose protection is recommended for stores, but is not mandatory. The Netherlands have been very reticent about face masks so far. At home one should only receive three guests. In addition, everyone should work from home again if possible.

“Either we manage to reduce the number of infections, or we don’t manage it,” said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge. “In that case, tougher measures are needed.” That could mean shutting down the entire restaurant, sports and cultural sector. Then it would be back to the lockdown.

The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands has risen sharply recently. According to the University of Johns Hopkins, there were around 2,760 new infections on Saturday in the country with its 17.5 million inhabitants.

— Hector Pascua with reports from Picture:

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