Dutch government fighting for coronavirus curfew on two fronts

Coronavirus Variant Illustration Of V
Coronavirus Variant Illustration Of V

dpa/GNA – The Dutch government is pulling out all the stops to retain a coronavirus curfew, but doing so will mean winning both legislative and judicial victories on Friday.

A court earlier this week overturned a night-time curfew that the Netherlands had implemented in an attempt to keep coronavirus infection rates down. Ruling on a case brought by groups opposed to pandemic health regulations, it said the emergency conditions the government cited in ordering the curfew simply don’t exist.

However, the curfew has remained in place pending a decision that could come as early as Friday from the country’s supreme court.

Arguing before the high court, government lawyers argued that it is “urgently necessary” that the curfew be reinstated if the country wants to keep the disease’s spread under control.

But the justices will also have to weigh the lower court ruling, which says the emergency laws can only be invoked if there is an acute emergency – like a dam breaking – that requires immediate action. It also ruled that the curfew was a violation of personal rights.

At the same time, the Senate, the upper house in the national parliament, had gathered to consider a new emergency law that would codify the curfew as part of the country’s coronavirus control regulations. The measure already passed the lower house on Thursday.

Should the Senate also approve the measure, the curfew would be set to stay in place, regardless of the top court’s ruling. However, the government lacks a majority in this chamber.

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