It seems that the idea of celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve isn’t convincing enough for the authorities of the Netherlands so that they’ll forget about COVID lockdowns. The country’s Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, makes the announcement that many people weren’t hoping for. Therefore, a strict COVID lockdown will be imposed in the Netherlands during the Holidays, according to Reuters.
The drastic measure means that restaurants, museums, gyms, and other non-essential services and shops will shut down starting Sunday and until January 14. Those who are pupils will also have to make it through without going to school anymore until January 9.
Trying to stop the spread of the Omicron COVID variant
The new COVID lockdown in the Netherlands is seen as a measure to stop the spread of the new Omicron variant, which has caused concerns worldwide since it was first discovered in South Africa. The strain is considered dangerous enough to pose a huge threat to the country unless lockdown measures are imposed. Medical researchers believe that Omicron spreads faster than other variants of the coronavirus.
Mark Rutte also considers that there’s also the danger of hospitals becoming overwhelmed with COVID patients unless urgent action is taken. The idea is not new at all, as authorities around the world had been using a similar excuse when it came to imposing lockdowns in their own countries.
Rutte declared during a news conference, as quoted by Reuters:
The Netherlands is again shutting down. That is unavoidable because of the fifth wave that is coming at us with the Omicron variant.
The COVID lockdown in the Netherlands might be surprising considering that the European country has over 85% of its adult population vaccinated for the coronavirus.