The Netherlands’ Christmas COVID restrictions and other stories you missed this weekend

Nov 15, 2021

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On Saturday the Netherlands imposed a partial Christmas lockdown, prompting thousands to take to the Dutch streets in protests.

The news follows a surge in COVID-19 cases across Europe and also sees the announcement of restrictions in Austria and Salzburg from Monday and the reinstatement of Covid passes in Denmark – a measure that was previously downgraded in September. 

The Dutch restrictions will last for three weeks and include recommendations that people in the country should work from home wherever possible.  

What are the  COVID restrictions being put in place in the Netherlands?

  • All non-essential shops will be required to close early at 18:00 local time, this rule will also apply to casinos, saunas, hairdressers and sex workers
  • Supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and cafes will also close shortly after at 20:00
  • Closed-door events for both amateur and professional sports events, including the Netherland’s World Cup qualifier football game against Norway on 16 November.
  • 1.5m social distancing to be reintroduced where Covid passes are not required

At present both cinemas and theatres will be allowed to stay open, and according to the BBC, plans are also being looked at to allow businesses to legally choose whether to limit entry to their premises to people who have been vaccinated. 

Can I still travel to the Netherlands from the U.K.?

Currently, Dutch authorities have the U.K. classed as a ‘very high-risk country’ which means that only fully vaccinated U.K. nationals with acceptable proof of vaccination (this includes the NHS COVID Pass) will be allowed to enter the Netherlands.

If you are double jabbed and are arriving in the country via aeroplane, ferry, car, train or bus, to gain entry you will be asked to provide one of the following:

  • A negative PCR test result (taken no more than 48 hours before departure)
  • A negative antigen test result ( taken no more than 24 hours before departure)

Fully vaccinated travellers at the time of writing are exempt from quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands. For other additional exemptions please check the government’s foreign travel advice.

In reaction to the new measures, thousands of protestors took to the streets,  at one point causing police to use water cannons after the crowds began throwing fireworks and other objects. 

The latest Dutch daily figures showed almost 14,000 new Covid cases, making it the nations third-highest daily rate since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. This comes despite 73% of the population (82.4% of over-12s) having received two doses of the COVID vaccine. 

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Featured photo: Dam Square, Amsterdam via Getty Images

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