Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Netherlands ‘going into lockdown once more’ to curb omicron

Netherlands ‘going into lockdown once more’ to curb omicron

LONDON — Nations throughout Europe moved to reimpose harder measures to stem a brand new wave of COVID-19 infections spurred by the extremely transmissible omicron variant, together with a brand new nationwide lockdown launched by the Dutch authorities.

Colleges, universities, and all non-essential shops, bars and eating places within the Netherlands can be closed till Jan. 14 beginning Sunday, caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated Saturday night time. Residents solely can be permitted two guests aside from Christmas and New 12 months’s, when 4 can be allowed, he stated.

“The Netherlands goes into lockdown once more from tomorrow,” Rutte stated, including that the transfer was “unavoidable due to the fifth wave attributable to the omicron variant that’s bearing down on us.”

Earlier than the Dutch announcement, alarmed ministers in France, Cyprus and Austria tightened journey restrictions. Paris canceled its New 12 months’s Eve fireworks. Denmark closed theaters, live performance halls, amusement parks and museums. Eire imposed an 8 p.m. curfew on pubs and bars and restricted attendance at indoor and outside occasions.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan underscored the official concern concerning the climbing circumstances and their potential to overwhelm the well being care system by declaring a significant incident Saturday, a transfer that enables native councils in Britain’s capital to coordinate work extra intently with emergency providers.

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin captured the sense of the continent in an handle to the nation, saying the brand new restrictions had been wanted to guard lives and livelihoods from the resurgent virus.

“None of that is simple,” Martin stated Friday night time. “We’re all exhausted with COVID and the restrictions it requires. The twists and turns, the disappointments and the frustrations take a heavy toll on everybody. However it’s the actuality that we’re coping with.”

The World Well being Group reported Saturday that the omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in 89 international locations, and COVID-19 circumstances involving the variant are doubling each 1.5 to three days in locations with neighborhood transmission and never simply infections acquired overseas.

Main questions on omicron stay unanswered, together with how efficient present COVID-19 vaccines are in opposition to it and whether or not the variant produces extreme sickness in lots of contaminated people, WHO famous.

But omicron’s “substantial progress benefit” over the delta variant means it’s prone to quickly overtake delta because the dominant type of the virus in international locations the place the brand new variant is spreading regionally, the U.N. well being company stated.

Within the Netherlands, anticipation a authorities assembly Saturday would end in harder restrictions induced customers to swarm industrial areas of Dutch cities, fearing it could be their final likelihood to purchase Christmas presents.

Rotterdam municipality tweeted that it was “too busy within the middle” of the port metropolis and informed folks: “Don’t come to the town.” Amsterdam additionally warned that the town’s predominant procuring road was busy and urged folks to stay to coronavirus guidelines.

Within the U.Okay., the place confirmed every day circumstances soared to file numbers this week, the federal government has reimposed a requirement for masks to be worn indoors and ordered folks to indicate proof of vaccination or a current unfavourable coronavirus take a look at when going to nightclubs and huge occasions.

However the strikes are inflicting anger.

Critics of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s newest coronavirus restrictions flooded Oxford Road, a preferred London procuring space, on Saturday. The maskless protesters blew whistles, yelled “Freedom!” and informed passersby to take away their face coverings.

A whole bunch of individuals blocked visitors as they marched with indicators bearing slogans similar to “Vaccine passports kill our freedoms” and “Don’t comply.” Different indicators had the faces of Johnson or U.Okay. Well being Secretary Sajid Javid and browse, “Give them the boot.”

Scientists are warning the British authorities it must go additional to forestall hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Leaked minutes from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies instructed a ban on indoor mixing and hospitality, the BBC reported.

Britain and different nations are additionally accelerating the tempo of booster pictures after early knowledge confirmed that two doses of vaccine had been much less efficient in opposition to the omicron variant. Buying facilities, cathedrals and soccer stadiums in Britain have been transformed into mass vaccination facilities.

Throughout a go to to a mass vaccination pop-up clinic at London soccer workforce Chelsea’s stadium on Saturday, Khan stated the operating of public providers might be impeded by the quickly spreading variant.

“The large challenge we have now is the variety of Londoners who’ve this virus and that’s resulting in large points in relation to employees absences and the flexibility of our public providers to run on the optimum ranges,” he informed the BBC. “I’m extremely apprehensive about employees absences within the (Nationwide Well being Service), within the hearth brigade, within the police service, in our councils throughout London.”

Omicron is now the dominant coronavirus variant in London and efforts had been stepped as much as attain individuals who haven’t but been vaccinated or boosted.

“I need to make a direct attraction to the greater than 1 million Londoners who’re but to return ahead for any COVID-19 vaccinations — it’s by no means too late to get your first or second dose,” the mayor stated. “It’s going to assist to guard you, your family members and our NHS.”

In France, the federal government introduced that it’s going to begin giving the vaccine to youngsters within the 5 to 11 age group starting Wednesday. Prime Minister Jean Castex stated Friday that with the omicron variant spreading like “lightning,” the federal government proposed requiring proof of vaccination for these coming into eating places, cafes and different public institutions. The pending measure requires parliamentary approval.

Demonstrations had been deliberate in Paris to oppose the vaccine cross proposal and ongoing authorities restrictions.

Hundreds of opponents of vaccine necessities and masks mandates protested Saturday in Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf and different German cities. In Austria, native media reported the crowds swelled to tens of hundreds.

You May Also Like


France, which has opened its borders to Canadian tourists, is eager to see Canada reopen to the French. The Canadian border remains closed...


Kashechewan First Nation in northern Ontario is experiencing a “deepening state of emergency” as a result of surging COVID-19 cases in the community...


The virus that causes COVID-19 could have started spreading in China as early as October 2019, two months before the first case was identified in the central city of Wuhan, a new study...


April Ross and Alix Klineman won the first Olympic gold medal for the United States in women’s beach volleyball since 2012 on Friday,...