The Netherlands to ease anti-COVID restrictions

The Netherlands to ease anti-COVID restrictions


The Netherlands will ease its anti-COVID health restrictions, among the most restrictive in Europe, by authorizing shops, gyms, hairdressers and sex shops to reopen, announced Friday the Prime Minister Mark Rutte. 

Bars, restaurants, cafes and cultural establishments will remain closed at least until January 25, the Prime Minister said during a a press conference.

Mr. Rutte said the easing of constraints was a “great moment” for the Netherlands, which spent Christmas and the New Year in lockdown, with restrictions tightened on December 19.

Businesses can open until 5:00 p.m. from Saturday, as well as sports clubs and higher education.

Schools reopened on January 10.

The new minister of Health Ernst Kuipers declared that the government had decided to relax the constraints because of the fall in hospitalizations despite a wave of contaminations by the Omicron variant.

Mr. Rutte, however, explained that it was too early to reopen bars and other catering establishments, warning of these new contaminations which he said could soon reach 75,000 or 80,000 per day in the Netherlands. 


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