Netherlands Plans to Ban More Flights, to Impose Curfew

The Dutch government announced on Jan. 20 that it plans to impose a curfew and to ban more flights in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 and a more contagious variant.

The Dutch government announced on Jan. 20 that it plans to impose a curfew and to ban more flights in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 and a more contagious variant.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the government will implement a month-long ban on flights from the United Kingdom, South America, and South Africa starting on Jan. 23.

Rutte also said that the government plans to implement a nationwide curfew from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

“It’s a tough measure. Nobody wants a curfew. Nobody is cheering this,” Rutte said.

However, the government would need support from a majority of the members of parliament for the curfew to be approved, as Rutte’s administration is in caretaker mode after resigning last Jan. 15 over a child welfare fraud scandal, in which the tax office incorrectly labeled thousands of parents as fraudsters.

Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge will hold a debate with the parliament on Jan. 21 regarding the measures and their implementations.

The Netherlands has been in a month-long strict lockdown and will remain in place until at least Feb. 9.

According to the government, the slow decrease of cases and the new variant prompted it to take tougher action.

“We’re getting out of this, but first we have to brace ourselves again now that more contagious variants are coming our way,” Rutte said, as 10 people reportedly have already been infected with the new variant.

The tightened measures also include only allowing one individual to visit a household, limiting the number of attendees at funerals to 50, and closing most locations such as hairdressers, sports facilities, and theaters.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the Netherlands has recorded 934,503 cases and 13,264 deaths.


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