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Pubs and restaurants close in Netherlands as virus cases flare

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The Netherlands will reimpose a “partial lockdown” following a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases, with all pubs, cafes and restaurants to close.

 

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Alcohol sales will be banned after 8 pm and residents will be restricted to receiving a maximum three guests per day at home.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte says people should only use buses and trains if urgently needed, with all residents required to wear masks in all public spaces such as shops, museums or libraries.

Until now, wearing a mask has only been an urgent recommendation.

“It is now up to us all,” Rutte told a press conference on Tuesday.

“Be realistic, Dutch people, and take responsibility.”

The estrictions follow a dramatic rise in the number of coronavirus infections, with the Netherlands recording 252 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days.

The worst-affected areas are the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, each with around 410 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

The situation was “alarming” in almost all regions, Rutte said.

Last week, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment registered close to 44,000 new infections – 60 per cent more than in the previous week.

Around 7400 new infections were reported on Tuesday, with 34 additional related deaths.

The number of patients in hospitals and intensive care units is also increasing rapidly.

The Netherlands has so far recorded around 190,000 coronavirus cases and 6631 related deaths.

-AAP

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