The Netherlands will announce new restrictions this Friday in an attempt to halt the rise in COVID-19 cases, which has broken records this Thursday. The Dutch broadcaster NOS anticipates that the hospitality and non-essential stores will have to advance the closing time to 7:00 p.m. and the measures will take effect this Saturday night.
The government of the acting Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, will make a final decision during a meeting this Friday, and will announce the new measures during a press conference in the afternoon. If confirmed, they would be the first such measures in Western Europe since the summer, Reuters reports.
According to the Dutch station, which is part of public radio and television, it will be recommended to work from home as much as possible, and limit visits to four people per home. The public will not be allowed to attend sporting events, including high-level football matches.
However, other tougher measures requested by the experts who advise the Government will probably be ruled out, published by the Dutch press, such as the closure of cinemas and theaters.
It is still unknown whether the Government will decide to limit access to public places to people who have been fully vaccinated or who have been infected with COVID-19 after the period of the measures, which is known as the ‘2G rule’. New coronavirus infections in the country of 17.5 million people have risen rapidly after social distancing measures were dropped in late September.
These restrictions would represent a drastic change in the policy of the Dutch government, which until last month believed that a relatively high vaccination rate would allow it to further soften the measures towards the end of the year, Reuters recalls.
The percentage of the adult population with the complete pattern is 85.9% (82.4% of people over 12). The unvaccinated occupied 56% of beds in Dutch hospitals intended for COVID-19 patients last October. This percentage rose to 70% in the case of Intensive Care Units (ICU), according to data from the Ministry of Health, reports EFE.
Netherlands has registered this past Thursday 16,364 new infections, the highest figure since the start of the pandemic, and 26 deaths in the last 24 hours. At the moment, the incidence is 793 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, according to Johns Hopkins data analyzed by elDiario.es.