Netherlands enters strict lockdown amid Omicron surge

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Nations throughout Europe moved to reimpose more durable measures to stem a brand new wave of COVID-19 infections spurred by the extremely transmissible Omicron variant, with the Netherlands main the best way by imposing a nationwide lockdown.

All non-essential shops, bars and eating places within the Netherlands shall be closed till January 14 beginning Sunday, caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte mentioned at a rapidly organized press convention Saturday evening. Schools and universities will shut till January 9, he mentioned.

In what is definitely to show a serious disappointment, the lockdown phrases additionally rein in personal vacation celebrations. Residents solely shall be permitted two guests aside from Christmas and New Year’s, when 4 shall be allowed, in response to Rutte.

“The Netherlands is going into lockdown again from tomorrow,” he mentioned, including that the transfer was “unavoidable because of the fifth wave caused by the omicron variant that is bearing down on us.”

A employee prepares to shut a retailer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. Dutch authorities ministers are meeting Saturday to debate recommendation from a panel of consultants who’re reportedly advising a toughening of the partial lockdown that’s already in place to fight COVID-19.

Peter Dejong / AP

It wasn’t simply the Dutch looking for to gradual the unfold of Omicron. Alarmed ministers in France, Cyprus and Austria tightened journey restrictions. Paris canceled its New Year’s Eve fireworks. Denmark has closed theaters, live performance halls, amusement parks and museums. Ireland imposed an 8 p.m. curfew on pubs and bars and restricted attendance at indoor and out of doors occasions.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan underscored the official concern concerning the climbing circumstances and their potential to overwhelm the well being care system by declaring a serious incident Saturday, a transfer that permits native councils in Britain’s capital to coordinate work extra carefully with emergency providers.

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