Netherlands Tightens Lockdown, Bans Flights

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Dutch National Opera & Ballet official website)

The Dutch government has announced the extension of its national lockdown with new drastic measures in a bid to curb the spread of the novel SARS-CoV-2 strains of coronavirus.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte will introduce a nationwide curfew from 8:30 p.m. – 4:30 a.m. Citizens will be able to leave their homes only for certified reasons, such as in the event of an emergency, or to go to the doctor.

Theaters, opera houses, concert halls, cinemas, non-essential shops, gyms, restaurants, bars, and swimming pools will remain closed. The new measures will apply until at least Feb. 9, 2021. The government has issued a strict travel advisory, asking citizens not to travel abroad and not to book any trips abroad in the period up to and including March 31, 2021.

Additionally, the government has banned all flights from the United Kingdom, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel with the arrival of the vaccines, but we are asking you for final effort – this is tough, I realize, but we can reach the finishing line,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.