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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Netherlands ‘planning’ strict lockdown to stem COVID-19

The Netherlands is planning to introduce strict lockdown measures until Jan. 19 to stem the spread of coronavirus, a local media report claimed on Monday.

According to Dutch public broadcaster NOS, the measures will take effect Tuesday midnight.

Schools will be closed, and switch to online education, it said, citing a source in the government Hague, adding that Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to address the nation at 7 p.m. (1800GMT) tonight.

The European country introduced a partial lockdown on Oct. 14, which is still in place. While restaurants and bars are closed, people are advised to work from home and avoid all non-essential travel.

Wearing masks were made mandatory for everyone over the age of 13 from Dec. 1.

On Dec. 8, the government said the COVID-19 infection rate “is still too high,” and hence decided “to prolong the partial lockdown, even during the festive season.”

“We will have to celebrate the holidays at home with only limited company,” it said in its notice.

The European country has so far reported 632,024 coronavirus infections, including 10,168 related deaths.

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