Dutch government imposes sweeping five-week Christmas lockdown

After a so-called “intelligent lockdown” at the beginning of the pandemic, and a “partial lockdown” in the fall, the Netherlands is now choosing an almost total lockdown for the next five weeks.

The move comes as the number of COVID-19 cases has been rising. Only last month, the Dutch government was cautiously optimistic the second wave of coronavirus infections was on its way down.

But last Sunday, new positive cases reached almost 10,000, leading the government to toughen the current restrictions.

Another reason for the new measures was the fear that tourists from Germany, which is shutting stores, would travel to Dutch cities on the border to buy Christmas presents.

From Wednesday, all non-essential shops, museums, theaters, zoos, and salons, have to shut their doors.

Restaurants and bars have already been closed since October. Hotels are still open, but they are no longer allowed to serve food, not even to their guests by room service.

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