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Netherlands expected to go into three-week partial lockdown

THE Dutch government was widely expected to announce a partial lockdown last night as soaring Covid-19 cases put the Netherlands’ health services under renewed strain.

Dutch broadcaster NOS, citing unnamed government sources, reported that ministers are planning to impose three weeks of measures, including closing bars, restaurants and non-essential stores at 7pm and banning fans from sports events. That could mean the Dutch national football team playing its World Cup qualifier against Norway on Tuesday night behind closed doors.

News of the renewed restrictions came a day after the country’s public health institute recorded 16,364 positive tests in 24 hours — the highest number of any time during the pandemic, which has killed more than 18,600 people in the Netherlands.

Last week, the government reintroduced a requirement to wear face masks in shops and expanded use of the country’s Covid pass, which shows that the holder has been fully vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or tested negative, but cases have continued to increase.

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