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Netherlands – Evening lockdown extended until 2022

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The number of new coronavirus cases is still very high and there are still many COVID-19 patients in hospital. But the surge in infections caused by the Delta variant does appear to have passed its peak.

This means the measures and joint efforts to combat the virus are having a visible effect. But it is important to keep pushing back the virus as long as hospitals are still struggling to cope, and having to postpone non-COVID treatment and procedures.

The new Omicron variant also gives cause for concern and demands a cautious approach. It is expected that this variant will become dominant in the Netherlands within a number of weeks, taking Delta’s place.

At this time, experts are unsure about how easily the Omicron variant spreads, how effective the existing vaccines are against it, and to what extent it causes severe illness.

The government is therefore prolonging the measures introduced on 28 November, until at least Friday 14 January 2022.

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Primary schools, schools for special (primary) education, and out-of-school care facilities (BSO) will also be closed in the week before Christmas.

BSO will be open during the regular Christmas break. Primary schools will reopen again on Monday 10 January 2022.

The situation will be reviewed on 14 January, or possibly at an earlier date if the Outbreak Management Team gains important new insights into the Omicron variant.

Measures and urgent advice

Everyone should stay at home as much as possible, and limit their number of contacts outside the home.

Always stay 1.5 metres away from other people.

Be careful when receiving visitors and visiting others:
Receive no more than 4 visitors per day (not including children under 13) and limit visits to one a day.

Do a self-test before visiting others or receiving visitors.

People aged 70 years and over are advised to limit their contacts as much as possible, including with children under 13, and to observe 1.5 metre distancing.

Face masks are required for everyone aged 13 and over on public transport and on platforms, at bus stops and stations, and when moving around schools or public indoor spaces such as shops, museums, restaurants and bars.

Coronavirus entry passes are mandatory for everyone aged 13 and over at all locations where people are assigned seats, such as restaurants and bars, theatres, concert halls, museums and cinemas, and in indoor sports venues. At all these locations, people must stay 1.5 metres apart.
Between 17.00 and 05.00 most locations must be closed and events are not permitted.

Essential shops, such as supermarkets and chemists, can stay open until 20.00.

Specific service providers, such as notaries, lawyers, mortgage advisors and medical health professionals, can be open for their normal opening hours.

Amateur sports matches and training are not permitted between 17.00 and 05.00.

Professional sports matches and training and professional artistic and cultural activities are permitted, even after 17.00.

No spectators or audiences.

At locations where there is a continuous flow of visitors, capacity is limited to 1 person per 5 square metres.

In higher education the maximum group size is 75 people per room. In theatres and auditoriums up to 1,250 people are allowed at once.

Work at home. If this is impossible: stay 1.5 meters apart at work.

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    Ankita Deshkar

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