Netherlands Looks to Partial Lockdown as Covid Cases Rise

The Dutch lockdown will not single out those who are unvaccinated. The country is experiencing rising case numbers amid a fourth wave of infections.


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The Netherlands plans a partial lockdown for all, as European cases and deaths rise.

Shoppers wearing face masks in Amsterdam this month.Credit…Ramon Van Flymen/EPA, via Shutterstock

Nov. 12, 2021Updated 12:40 p.m. ET

The Netherlands’ government plans to introduce a three-week partial lockdown to quell a fourth wave of Covid infections amid a spike in case numbers, the public broadcaster NOS reported on Friday.

It is the first recent lockdown affecting all people — whether vaccinated or not — in Western Europe, and it comes as the Netherlands registered 16,364 new cases on Thursday. That figure, a level not seen since early in the pandemic, was a 33 percent rise over the new cases registered a week earlier.

Cases and deaths have been rising sharply in Europe as a whole, and other countries have instituted or are considering new restrictions. This week, the World Health Organization reported that Europe accounted for about two-thirds of the world’s 3.1 million new reported cases in the first week of November.

Officials in hard-hit countries are urgently seeking to quell the outbreaks as winter approaches and the threat of flu rises. For instance, Germany will once again offer free Covid tests to all adults in the country.

Starting on Saturday, restaurants, bars and cafes in the country will have to close at 7 p.m. Sporting events will be held without spectators. Residents will not be allowed to invite more than four guests into their homes. And social distancing rules will be reinstated, though stores that sell essentials will remain open.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Hugo de Jonge, the health minister, are expected to announce the measures on Friday evening.

Mr. Rutte’s cabinet will also discuss on Friday whether to introduce longer-term measures that would require people to provide proof of vaccination or past infection to get access to certain services or to participate in certain events.

About 73 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to the Our World in Data project at Oxford University.

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