Netherlands to go into strict Christmas ‘lockdown’ as Omicron cases rise
Restaurants, museums, gyms among others will be closed until January 14. All schools will be shut until January 9.
Coronavirus new variant Omicron cases are being reported in all the countries. India has also reported cases and the state government has asked people to take precautions while stepping out. However, many countries including India are still mulling on the option of going into lockdown. The Dutch government has already announced a stricter lockdown out of fear of the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID 19 in the country. Prime Minister Rutte announced this at a press conference on Saturday.
As reported by Xinhua news agency, he said, "I stand here with a gloomy mind. The Netherlands is going into lockdown again. That is inevitable. Omicron is dissipating even faster than we feared. That is the complicated story we have to tell tonight.” The new lockdown will take effect from 5 a.m. Sunday local time and will remain in effect until January 14, 2022. According to Rutte, a hard lockdown is inevitable "because of the fifth wave that is approaching us with Omicron."
The notice further mentions that all non-essential shops and services, including restaurants, hairdressers, museums, and gyms will be closed from Sunday until January 14. All schools will be shut until at least January 9. Other measures include a recommendation that households receive no more than two visitors and that gatherings outside are also limited to a maximum of two people.
Cases of the variant have surged since it was first found in the Netherlands three weeks ago, while hospitals are struggling with the large numbers of COVID-19 patients in their wards.