Breaking: The Netherlands going into strict lockdown: Is UK next?

Dec 18, 2021

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There is breaking news out of The Netherlands today where the government just announced a strict lockdown in an effort to contain a major surge of the new COVID-19 omicron variant. Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a hastily called news conference, “I stand here tonight in a sombre mood …The Netherlands will go back into lockdown from tomorrow,” adding the new restrictions were “unavoidable.”

The U.K. and France are also reportedly considering new restrictions as the new variant spreads across Europe and the U.K. and France have already cancelled all major public parties and fireworks displays for New Year’s Eve.

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Under the new rules that go into effect Sunday, 19 December, non-essential shops will be closed until mid-January. Schools, bars, restaurants and other public facilities will also be shut.

Everyone is asked to stay home as much as possible. There are also strict new rules on groups. A maximum of two guests are allowed into people’s homes (that doesn’t include those under 13). The only exceptions are on 24-26 December and New Year’s Eve when the limit is raised to four guests.

Omicron is expected to become the dominant variant in the Netherlands during the holidays.

The United Kingdom is also mulling lockdown

There are reports that the U.K. is also considering a lockdown, among other measures.

According to the Financial Times, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was presented with a range of plans yesterday,  with reports a full lockdown is among the options.

There is also a proposal for a so-called “circuit breaker” that would ban indoor meetings for two weeks after Christmas, according to the Times. Johnson has insisted he does not want to “close things down” again.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.

Featured photo by Alexander Spatari for Getty Images.

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