The Netherlands is set to enter its toughest phase of anti-coronavirus restrictions to date, imposing a nationwide night-time curfew in a bid to control the infection rate. From Saturday evening, residents must observe a curfew from 9 pm until 4:30 am the following morning, during which time they will be banned from leaving their homes.
The aim is to sharply reduce infections as concerns grow over mutations of the virus. The country has also banned flights from Britain, South Africa and South America, where more transmissible coronavirus variants have been identified.
Violations of the curfew will be met with a $116-fine.
Exceptions are made for people travelling to work, caring for others,having to travel, or walking their dogs. The curfew is initially to stay in place until February 9.
The acting Dutch government has also intensified rules for travellers entering the country. Entrants will now have to present a negative PCR test and undergo another rapid test before boarding a plane,boat, train or bus. The Netherlands has been in lockdown since mid-December. — dpa