The Dutch government has been advised by a pandemic advisory panel to place nationwide restrictions on Covid-19, their first in Western Europe, since this summer.
According to local media, the Dutch Outbreak Management Team has suggested a partial lockdown for two weeks. Broadcaster NOS says caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet is expected to take a decision on the advice on Friday.
The steps reportedly under consideration don’t include closing schools, but would involve cancelling events, as well as closing theatres and cinemas. Restaurants and cafes would be asked to limit their hours.
After the two-week lockdown is implemented, public access to places will be restricted to those with the QR code for vaccination or who have just recovered from the disease.
News of the panel’s advice comes as the Netherlands sees a spike in Covid-19 cases, with many hospitals overwhelmed by the volume of patients. October’s data showed that 70% of those in intensive care were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated. Unvaccinated hospital patients were only 59 years old, while vaccinated patients are 77.
Dutch officials already have reintroduced the masks and increased access to venues with Covid-19 passes.
According to data from the government, more than 84% of the nation’s over-18s have received two doses against the virus.
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