Netherlands to be on lockdown for both Christmas and New Year

The Netherlands will be on lockdown for both Christmas and New Year.

The country will go into a strict lockdown from today to contain the highly – contagious Omicron COVID-19 variant, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Saturday.

All non-essential shops and services, including restaurants, hairdressers, museums and gyms will be closed from Sunday until January 14.

All schools will be shut until at least January 9.

“The Netherlands is again shutting down. That is unavoidable because of the fifth wave that is coming at us with the Omicron variant,” Rutte told a televised news conference.

Other measures include a recommendation that households receive no more than two visitors and that gatherings outside are also limited to a maximum of two people.

A failure to act now would likely lead to “an unmanageable situation in hospitals”, which have already scaled back regular care to make space for COVID-19 patients, Rutte said.

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