Royal Concertgebouw & De Nationale Opera Close as Dutch Government Declares National Lockdown

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Arenda Oomen)

The government of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced a strict lockdown over fears of a rapid spread of the new and aggressive Omicron SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus variant. The country will officially enter lockdown on Dec. 19. The lockdown is due to remain in place until at least January 14, 2022.

Per the government’s decision, cafes, bars, amusement parks, non-essential shops and the cultural sector will all have to close, as will schools, colleges and universities. All events will be banned. Only essential shops will be allowed to stay open. Group sizes outside of the home will be limited to a maximum of two people from different households.

De Nationale Opera and the Royal Concertgebouw have announced their respective closures until Jan. 14, 2022 at least.

Repeated attempts by the Dutch government to control the epidemiological situation by partial lockdowns have failed, and health advisors recommended a full and hard lockdown to prevent a situation spiralling out of control.

The Netherlands has logged 15,367 new daily COVID-19 cases on Dec. 17, 2021.