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Dutch return to partial lockdown as COVID-19 cases soar

EconomyNov 12, 2021 11:00PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People with and without protective masks walk on the street while shopping as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Amsterdam, Netherlands October 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

By Bart H. Meijer and Anthony Deutsch

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -The Netherlands will return to a partial lockdown from Saturday after the government ordered restaurants and shops to close early and barred spectators from major sporting events in an effort to contain a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said restrictions that the Dutch people had thought had ended for good were being re-imposed for three weeks.

Supermarkets and non-essential retailers will also close earlier and social distancing measures will be re-imposed. The government recommended that no more than four visitors be received at home, effective immediately.

Cafes and nightclubs will have to close at 8 pm from Saturday.

"Tonight we are bringing a very unpleasant message with very unpleasant and far-reaching measures," Rutte said in a televised address on Friday evening. "The virus is everywhere and needs to be combated everywhere."

A group of around 100 anti-lockdown protesters gathered outside the government building in The Hague where Rutte was speaking. Several people were detained for setting off fireworks and throwing objects at the police.

The government was also exploring ways to restrict access to indoor venues for people who have not been vaccinated, a politically sensitive measure that would require parliamentary approval.

INFECTIONS AT RECORD HIGH

The measures are meant to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases that is straining hospitals across the country.

New infections topped 16,000 for the second day in a row on Friday, beating the previous record of just under 13,000 confirmed cases in a day set in December last year.

Rutte instructed people to work from home whenever possible, and said no spectators would be allowed in the coming weeks to attend sporting events, including the Dutch soccer team's World Cup qualifier against Norway on Tuesday.

Schools, theatres and cinemas will remain open.

Friday's announcement marked a dramatic change of policy for the Dutch government, which until last month had thought that a relatively high vaccination rate would allow it to further ease measures towards the end of the year.

Nearly 85% of the adult Dutch population has been fully vaccinated. Since the start of the pandemic, the Netherlands has recorded 2.27 million COVID-19 cases and 18,695 related deaths.

The Dutch are not alone in Europe in taking unpopular measures as infection rates spike. Austria said on Thursday it was days away https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-austria/austrian-lockdown-for-the-unvaccinated-is-days-away-chancellor-says-idINL1N2S218H from placing millions of unvaccinated people in lockdown.

Dutch return to partial lockdown as COVID-19 cases soar
 

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Comments (13)
taylor jason
taylor jason Nov 14, 2021 1:07PM ET
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meanwhile, in Texas and Florida, no restrictions ever occurred and the virus declined -- is there even a point to going back to the most primitive form of prevention?
no spin
no spin Nov 13, 2021 8:31AM ET
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Why don't we ask the Pennsylvania Amish how they were the first large population to achieve herd immunity. Clue: It did not involve masks and experimental jabs.
Empire Destroyer
Empire Destroyer Nov 13, 2021 8:31AM ET
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Does it involve sleeping with relatives?
Ken Rupert
Ken Rupert Nov 12, 2021 2:45PM ET
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So here is the thing... if 85% are vaccinated, how is it that the unvaccinated are spreading covid? We know that the vaccinated can catch AND spread the virus. What is the percentage of those who are getting it that are vaccinated to those who are not?
Empire Destroyer
Empire Destroyer Nov 12, 2021 2:45PM ET
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vaccinated people feel immune and don't practice social distancing, hand washing regularly and avoiding super crowded places any more
ben sc
ben sc Nov 12, 2021 10:54AM ET
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If only they had worn more masks. or locked down harder. or gotten more jabs. it's almost like with govt can't stop the virus and we should learn to live with it.
ben sc
ben sc Nov 12, 2021 10:14AM ET
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Fear and normalizing govt control over social events and gatherings. obsurd and anti science. 85% of their pop is fully jabbed. the jab isn't working folks. and if you take it you're not getting back to normal.
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Nov 12, 2021 10:14AM ET
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Exactly
David Booker
David Booker Nov 12, 2021 10:14AM ET
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As the saying goes, "If you tell a lie loud enough and long enough people will believe it's the truth "
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Nov 12, 2021 8:41AM ET
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We were warned that an overreliance on antibiotics has created drug resistant bacteria…so what happens when you over rely on vaccines? It’s science.
Miriam Morkhul
Miriam Morkhul Nov 12, 2021 8:41AM ET
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Viruses mutate in vaccinated people, there are medical papers about this. A medical fact.
Saurabh Sharma
Saurabh Sharma Nov 11, 2021 1:14PM ET
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Buy only pharma stocks till coming summer....Only Pharma shares will Rocking.......
Bob Lem
Bob Lem Nov 11, 2021 12:17PM ET
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it's simple math ...  70% risk of landing in intensive care and staring down a ventilator or 30% risk even if older. I'll take 30%
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Nov 11, 2021 11:26AM ET
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Even though over 85% of population has been vaccinated.
Tom Skinner
Tom Skinner Nov 11, 2021 10:53AM ET
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Has NOBODY learned that LOCKDOWNS do-not-work? Idiocy.
jason xx
jason xx Nov 11, 2021 10:53AM ET
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They drop infection numbers. That's called working.
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Nov 11, 2021 10:53AM ET
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jason xx until you reopen. Dude hundreds of study besr this out. Read more and you wont look so stupid
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Nov 11, 2021 10:53AM ET
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UK had 18 months of lockdowns and some of the highest death rates in the world. Same with California. So here we are Lockdowns coming to a country near you. Economies will crash, more printing , more stimulus. GDP’s are negative- real rates are negative- Stock markets at ATH’s lol Something does not add up
Empire Destroyer
Empire Destroyer Nov 11, 2021 10:53AM ET
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even if no lockdown... Central banks will keep printing, I mean what else do they actually do except print and spend a few days being wine and dined to discuss interest rates
 
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