Curfew effective in the Netherlands from Saturday, January 23
A national 9pm to 4.30am coronavirus curfew will be effective in the Netherlands from Saturday, January 23.
9pm to 4.30 am coronavirus curfew from Saturday
Acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte had stated in the press conference on January 12 that he wanted to look into the possibility of a national curfew, asking the Outbreak Management Team to advise him and his fellow cabinet members on the best course of action. Then, on January 20, he laid out a number of new coronavirus measures - including his plans for a curfew.
Following extensive debate in the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) on Thursday, a vote revealed Rutte’s curfew had the support of the majority of the House. And so, the national curfew became official.
Now, it has been announced that the curfew will come into effect on the evening of January 23, and will remain in place until February 10, 4.30am. Therefore, everyone will be expected to remain at home between curfew hours. There are a handful of exceptions to the rule, but anyone outside will have to carry either a statement from their employer or a so-called "Self-declaration curfew" form. Anyone found breaking the curfew will face a 95-euro fine.
Why does the Netherlands need a curfew?
The weekly report from the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) suggested that the number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands was dropping, as they observed that the effects of the national lockdown announced on December 14 could finally be seen. However, in the same report, they acknowledged that this positive news was overshadowed by the increased spread of the highly contagious coronavirus mutation.
The RIVM estimates that around 10 percent of the infections reported between January 13 and January 19 were cases of the new variant - double the percentage of the week before. They predict that the mutation could make up at least half of all infections by mid-February, and that this will lead to an increased number of hospital admissions and coronavirus-related deaths.
The GGD has also expressed concern at the rapid spread of the new strain of COVID-19, with head of infectious diseases Yvonne van Duijnhoven emploring the public to stick to the rules: “It is more important than ever,” she told AT5.