Dutch to reimpose some COVID-19 curbs as cases rise – ANP

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows a street during a curfew following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Amsterdam, Netherlands, January 23, 2021. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government is expected to reimpose restrictions on dance clubs, music festivals and restaurants on Friday in response to a surge in COVID-19 infections among young adults, local media reported.

The Netherlands lifted most lockdown measures on June 26, as cases were falling and around two-thirds of the population has received at least one vaccination shot.

But, with bars, restaurants and nightclubs open again, new cases have risen at the fastest pace in months, with more than 5,400 cases reported over the 24-hours through Thursday. That compared to fewer than 1,000 a week earlier.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte was expected to announce the decision at a news conference at 1800 GMT Friday, news agency ANP reported.

The country is not expected to return to a widespread lockdown, but is widely expected to take targeted measures to limit the spread of infections among teenagers and young adults.

Broadcaster RTL said cafes and bars would be ordered to close at midnight, and outdoor events would be limited a maximum of 1,000 visitors and no more than 500 people allowed to attend indoor gatherings.

Around three-quarters of new cases in the Netherlands are occurring among young people and more than half are of the more infectious Delta variant, Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said this week.

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