The Netherlands enacts a curfew starting on Saturday

The Netherlands enacts a curfew starting on Saturday

On top of the stricter measures announced two days ago

A curfew will apply throughout the Netherlands from Saturday 23 January, as approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon. That means that everyone should stay indoors between 9 p.m. and 4:30 a.m, at least until 10 February.

The restriction on movement comes in addition to the stricter measures that the Dutch government announced two days ago to contain the spread of COVID-19 and in particular the new more contagious strain first found in the United Kingdom.

Curfew, travel bans and fewer exceptions to inbound travel from 23 January

The Dutch government wants to delay the spread of the new strain of the virus for as long as possible, hence a new measure aimed to limit the gathering of people. According to research from abroad, quoted on the governmental website, a curfew can lead to a reduction of 8% and 13% of the R-value (the number of people to which one infected person transmits the virus).

Hence, in the period covered by the curfew, no one is allowed to go outside without a valid reason. Valid reasons include calamities, the need for urgent medical help of a household member or an animal, attendance of a funeral. It also counts if one is returning from travel abroad, walking a dog on a leash or has been summoned in court.

If there is such reason, one must present a self-declaration, or a statement by employer if the reason is work-related.

On 20 January, the cabinet already tightened further the rules related to social contacts and travel. It is thus no longer allowed to receive more than one person aged 13 or older per day; one can only pay a visit to a place no more than once a day. Back then, the possibility to implement a curfew from 8.30 pm was first highlighted but was finally confirmed to start at 9 in the evening.

It is also not allowed to book trips abroad until 31 March at least and there are also flight bans for passengers from the UK and other non-EU countries. Furthermore, from Saturday, there will be no exception for business travellers, students, highly skilled migrants, professionals from the cultural and creative sector, which are no longer allowed to come for a short stay in the Netherlands.

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