Netherlands lockdown: Dutch to enter strictest measures – panic over surging Omicron cases

THE NETHERLANDS will enter another strict lockdown from Sunday, it has been announced this evening.

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte made the announcement as the EU country struggles to contain a surge of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The measures, which include all schools closing from Monday, will be in place until at least January 14.

Mr Rutte said the lockdown was “unavoidable” due to the fifth Covid wave – of the Omicron variant – sweeping the continent.

The Prime Minister said the nation needed to do it all could to limit the surge.

In a televised address, he said: “I stand here tonight in a sombre mood.

“And a lot of people watching will feel that way too.

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Netherlands lockdown: Mark Rutte made the announcement today

Netherlands lockdown: Mark Rutte made the announcement today (Image: Getty)

Many anti-lockdown protests have turned violent

Many anti-lockdown protests have turned violent (Image: Getty)

“To sum it up in one sentence, the Netherlands will go back into lockdown from tomorrow.”

His announcement comes despite the country reporting a plunge in Covid cases, as the European nation’s Delta wave dissipates.

The unprecedented fifth lockdown will see all non-essential shops, bars, restaurants, and other public places close.

Full details of the measures have yet to be released.

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Many are angry about the curbs to their liberties

Many are angry about the curbs to their liberties (Image: Getty)

But according to Dutch media, hairdressers and gyms will also shut until at least January 14.

The latest rules follow a 5pm to 5am curfew which was imposed on shops, bars and restaurants across the Netherlands at the end of November.

Mr Rutte’s announcement came just hours after the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) reported a total of more than 2.9 million Covid cases since the start of the pandemic.

Police deal with anti-lockdown protestors

Police deal with anti-lockdown protestors in Holland (Image: Getty)

The EU country has recorded 20,420 deaths over the same period.

The Netherlands will enter another lockdown

The Netherlands will enter another lockdown tomorrow (Image: Getty)

The institute also reported 14,616 new infections across 24 hours.

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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