The Netherland Police have used water cannon on protesters who opposed to a new partial lockdown order imposed amid rising record of coronavirus infections.
Prime minister “Mark Rutte” announced the law on Friday, where he ordered the restrictions of shops, sport and catering for a period of three weeks.
Majority of European countries are facing a surge in covid cases, blamed partly on low vaccine take-up in many countries. Austria is among those countries expected to go back to lockdown for unvaccinated people this weekend.
Restrictions are expected to be imposed in the first two provinces of Upper Austria and Salzburg effective from Monday, this is in a statement by Minister of Health “Wolfgang Mückstein”.
Denmark, which has less coronavirus cases is no longer a “socially critical” disease, and has re-instated a Covid pass that was phased out in September. The government is planning to push through a law allowing workplaces to require the pass for staff.
Covid passes set to stay as Europe is going for winter.
The Dutch prime minister “Mark Rutte” said that fortunately the majority of people in the Netherlands had already been vaccinated. Adding that the three-week partial lockdown would take effect on Saturday evening.
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Any Non-essential shops will have to close at 18:00 (17:00 GMT) likewise supermarkets, cafes, restaurants and hotels at 20:00
Professional and amateur sport will continue to operate, but behind closed doors
This includes the ongoing Netherlands’ football World Cup qualifier against Norway which will take place on 16 November.
The 18:00 closure also applies to casinos and saunas as well as hairdressers and sex workers
A maximum of four guests between aged 13 will be allowed at people’s homes
As many people should work from home as possible.
All Cinemas and theatres will stay open. Social distancing of 1.5m (5ft) is being reintroduced and must be maintained where Covid passes are not in operation. The caretaker cabinet is also working on a change in the law to allow businesses to choose whether if they want to limit entry to people who have been vaccinated or who have recovered successfully.
Meanwhile, The catering industry has reacted angrily to the new development; a spokesman told public broadcaster NOS that the government had “crossed a line”. previous weekend, and thousands of protesters marched through The Hague in anger at existing Covid restrictions.
The latest daily figures on Saturday showed 13,902 new Covid cases found- the third-highest daily rate since the beginning of the pandemic – and 33 deaths. Dutch vaccination rates are relatively high, with 82.4% of over-12s having two doses, or 73% of the total population.
Anti-lockdown protesters gather in The Hague
Police said they had taken action to “maintain and order”
Protesters marched on the streets in The Hague after Mr Rutte’s announcement. Police fired water cannon after some of the crowd started throwing stones and fireworks at them.
In Austria, vaccine take-up is at 65% and Chancellor “Alexander Schallenberg” says he will communicate to provincial governors on Sunday before the green light is issued for a national lockdown for the unvaccinated people.
“The situation in Austria is worrying and infection numbers are rising rapidly, especially in Upper Austria and Salzburg,” the health minister warned. The two provinces have a combined population of more than two million.
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The Upper Austria governor “Thomas Stelzer” says people who are yet to receive their vaccine will be able to leave home only for essential purpose such as going to work, buying food or to exercise. It is unclear how that would be enforced.
Germany, which has also witnessed record Covid numbers this week, declared Austria a high-risk area on Friday, so that anyone visiting the area and yet to be vaccinated or recovered from Covid will have to isolate for 10 days.
Eastern European countries have for weeks been battling with high record infection, as they grapple with the lowest vaccine rates on the continent:
Covid Cases In Some Parts Of The World!
Russia announced another 40,123 cases and 1,235 deaths in the past 24 hours on Friday
Ukraine recorded 24,058 more infections and 750 deaths
Romania recorded another 307 deaths, involving 286 unvaccinated people, but case numbers are down
Slovenia has a record 215 Covid patients in intensive care, a relatively high figure for a population of more than two million
Czech daily Covid infections have topped 10,000 for the third time this week; the government is set to announce tighter restrictions