The Dutch government is imposing strict restrictions for the entire Christmas season, from today until January 14, 2022, as announced yesterday by Prime Minister Mark Rutte at a press conference:
“The Netherlands is closing again. This is inevitable due to the fifth wave that comes to us with the Omicron variant. I’m in a sad mood here today. In short, the Netherlands will return to quarantine from tomorrow. It turned out to be inevitable. The Omicron strain is spreading faster than we expected. All non-essentials shops, restaurants, bars, cinemas, museums, theaters, hairdressers and gyms are to be closed from tomorrow until January 14th. All schools must be closed by at least January 9th. Other measures are the recommendation for households to receive no more than two guests out of four previously in force, with the exception of Christmas Day on December 25th. Outdoor gatherings are also limited to a maximum of two people. “
According to NOS, only medical facilities and libraries will remain open. Christmas markets are also canceled. Only 2 people can visit, not counting children under 13 years old. Exceptions are Christmas and New Years: the number of guests can increase to four. A similar mode works for walks.
The head of the epidemic control group Jaap van Dissel spoke at the same press conference with information about the epidemiological situation in the country. He warned that by the end of the year, Omicron will become dominant in the Netherlands:
“Failure to take action now could lead to an unmanageable situation in hospitals, which have already cut down on regular care to make room for Covid-19 patients.”
More than 85% of adults in the Netherlands are vaccinated, but only 9% have taken a booster dose to date, one of the lowest rates in Europe.
Yesterday, the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) reported 2.9 million coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and 20,420 deaths. Over the past day, 14,616 new cases of infection have been registered.
The countries of Europe are tightening restrictions as the highly mutated variant spreads. Germany, France, Ireland also announced measures aimed at containing infections.
The Omicron variant is “spreading at lightning speed” in Europe and is likely to become dominant in France by early next year, warned Prime Minister Jean Castex. France has imposed strict travel restrictions on those entering the UK, the worst-hit country in the region, with around 25,000 confirmed cases of Omicron reported on Saturday. Air force…
Greece has already reported 17 cases of Omicron-mutated coronavirus, according to EODY. There were only three of them last week. Of the newly discovered cases, 3 cases are considered imported into the country, the remaining 11 – “domestic”. Studies of a new strain of coronavirus Omicron have shown that in the bronchi it reproduces 70 times fasterthan the Delta variant.