Netherlands goes into lockdown over Christmas & New Year to contain spread of Omicron

From Dec. 19, 2021 to Jan. 14, 2022.

Syahindah Ishak | December 20, 2021, 04:30 PM

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The Netherlands will be in strict lockdown from now till Jan. 14, 2022, to try to contain the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

The Dutch government said it expects the Omicron variant to be the "dominant variant" in the country by end-December.

New rules

Under this new lockdown, which started on Dec. 19, 2021, people are urged to stay at home as much as possible, avoid busy places, and remain 1.5 metres apart from one another.

A maximum of two visitors aged 13 and above are allowed per household, while a maximum of four visitors are allowed per household on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

The maximum group size outdoors for people aged 13 and above is two, but the number can exceed two if everyone in the group lives at the same address.

Schools to be closed till Jan. 9, 2022

All schools and out-of-school care in the country are closed until at least Jan. 9, 2022.

The Dutch government said that it will decide on Jan. 3, 2022, in what form education will resume from Jan. 10.

All non-essential shops are closed

All hospitality venues are closed, except for delivery and takeaway. All non-essential shops are also closed, except for click and collect and returns.

Essential shops, such as supermarkets and chemists, are allowed to be open until 8pm. The maximum number of shoppers is one per five square metres, and they must be wearing face masks.

Certain locations, such as petrol stations, pharmacies, libraries, driving schools, notaries’ offices, and lawyers’ offices are allowed to operate as per normal.

Shops with non-medical contact-based professions, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, are closed.

Cinemas, museums, theatres and concert venues are also closed.

Indoor sports facilities are closed

All indoor sports facilities are closed, except for swimming lessons.

Outdoor sports facilities are allowed to be open for all ages between 5am and 5pm.

However, people aged 18 and above can engage in sports outdoors either alone or in groups of two. They must stay 1.5 metres apart.

Children and teenagers aged 17 and under can play sports outdoors and can take part in matches and competitions within their club.

Large scale events are not permitted, except for funerals (maximum 100 people), weekly markets selling groceries, and professional sports matches and competitions (no spectators).

The Netherlands has recorded over 2.9 million Covid-19 cases since January 2020.

The country has also reported more than 20,000 Covid-19 deaths.

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Top image via Unsplash.