Dutch government announces new restrictive measures to curb virus spread

Medical workers treat a COVID-19 patient at the coronavirus unit in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, April 13, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
(Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Dutch government on Friday announced new restrictive measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“The facts are alarming,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said during a press conference in The Hague. “The novel coronavirus is having a comeback in our country. We can now make adjustments before we get into a situation like in March. We don’t want that same crisis again.”

Rutte said that restaurants and bars have to close at 1 a.m. local time. There will be a ban on meetings of more than 50 people, both indoors and outdoors. The rule, however, has some exceptions, such as for demonstrations, religious gatherings, funerals, and dance and theater practices.

In addition, six regions, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam, are taking their specific measures.

The measures will take effect on Sunday.

According to the latest figures released by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) on Sept. 15, a total of 8,265 new virus infections were reported over the past week, up from 5,427 recorded in the week before.

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