Dutch government extends coronavirus curfew to March 2
On Monday afternoon it was announced that the Dutch government had decided to extend the national 9pm to 4.30am curfew by a further three weeks. Instead of coming to an end at 4.30am on February 10, the curfew will remain in place until (at least) 4.30am on March 2.
Dutch curfew remains effective throughout February
On February 2, the caretaker government announced that most measures that fall under the existing lockdown would remain in place until March 2, the only exception being the closure of primary schools - which reopened on Monday - and some relaxations for shops from February 10. At the time, acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it was too early to make a decision about the curfew, and that he awaited further advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT).
The OMT met on Friday, February 5 to discuss the curfew, and at a parliamentary debate on February 3 Rutte announced his suspicions that the curfew would have to be extended as a result of the ongoing spread of the highly contagious B117 variant of COVID-19.
Official announcement from Dutch cabinet yet to come
The cabinet will officially announce the curfew extension late Monday afternoon. In spite of these plans, the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) will still have to approve the decision. However, unlike when the curfew was initially introduced, it doesn't seem as though Rutte will face much opposition to the extension.
The government is also expected to announce a decision about whether some exceptions to the coronavirus restrictions will be made in order to allow for natuurijs ("natural ice") races in light of the cold snap the Netherlands faces this week.
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