Omicron Wave: Dutch Announces Complete Lockdown Ahead of Christmas Day
By TOI Team December 19, 2021 Update on : December 19, 2021
The Netherlands has gone on a stricter lockdown ahead of Christmas day to be celebrated on December 25 amid the global concerns of rapid transmission of the Omicron variant, a new strain of coronavirus.
All non-essential shops like bars, gyms, hairdressers, and other public entertainment venues will remain closed till January 14. At least two guests per family will be allowed – four on the holidays.
After announcing the lockdown, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte termed the measures as “unavoidable”.
As the new variant is spreading in a rapid peace, different European countries have gone on tougher restrictions in a bid to contain the transmission of the virus.
While talking to newsmen at a press conference on Saturday, Rutte said, “I stand here tonight in a depressed mood. And many people watching will feel the same way”.
“In a nutshell, the Netherlands will go into complete nationwide lockdown from tomorrow,” he said Rutte said, calling upon the people to stay at home as much as possible following the lockdown rules. You can also read more about Historic Hurricane.
The government has imposed strict restrictions on the number of people who can meet each other to avoid the risk of transmission of the virus.
According to the lockdown rules, a maximum of two guests aged 13 or above can be allowed in visiting houses of the relatives’ homes.
The number will be increased to four people aged between 24 and 26 years from December on the occasion of the New Year’s celebration or December 31.
Events, except funerals, weekly selling or buying groceries, and professional sports matches with no audience are not allowed during the lockdown period.
Food shops, hotels, and restaurants can run their sell takeaway meals while non-important shops can offer click and collect services during the lockdown period as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
To keep schoolchildren well protected from infection of the new variant, the government has announced the closure of all educational institutions until January 9.
“I am now hearing the sigh of the whole of the Netherlands just before a week of Christmas day. And, it is completely different from what we would like,” said Rutte.