The Netherlands has announced a strict lockdown over Christmas amid concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant. The omicron variant has authorities worried and is spreading faster than expected. Intervention is needed “to avoid the worst,” said the head of government, Mark Rutte.
Non-essential shops, bars, gyms, hairdressers and other public venues will be closed until at least mid-January. Two guests per household will be allowed – four over the holidays. Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated that the measures were “unavoidable.” Countries across Europe have been tightening restrictions as the heavily mutated variant spreads.
The new rules in the Netherlands – the strictest to have been announced over Omicron so far – come into force on Sunday. Mr Rutte stated on Saturday on a news conference, “I stand here tonight in a sombrw mood. And a lot of people watching will feel that way too. To sum it up in one sentence, the Netherlands will go back into lockdown from tomorrow.”