Covid-19: curfew comes into force in the Netherlands

The Netherlands began their first curfew since World War II on Saturday in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. The measure should make it possible to avoid compulsory confinement during the day.

Since 9:00 p.m., it is forbidden to leave your home until 4:30 a.m., the curfew must be renewed every evening at least until February 9. Any violator faces a fine of 95 euros, said the Dutch government.

Certain exemptions are possible, in particular for people returning from funerals or those having to work during the curfew, but on condition that they present a certificate of displacement. Dog owners are authorized to go out without having to present a certificate.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced Wednesday his intention to institute a curfew, before obtaining parliamentary approval the next day.

Mr Rutte said the decision to institute a curfew had been bolstered by ‘the UK variant and the very big concerns we all have’, referring to a new, more infectious strain of the disease that has emerged in the Kingdom -United.

According to the Prime Minister, the curfew must avoid mandatory daytime confinement, while since the start of the health crisis, the Dutch have never had to justify their movements.

Anger

In addition to having raised the opposition of certain deputies, including the leader of the extreme right Geert Wilders, the curfew arouses the anger of part of the Dutch.

Mr Rutte and his government resigned last week following a scandal over child benefits, but they will continue to run day-to-day business until the parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 17.

The Hague announced in mid-December a new series of measures to fight Covid-19, the most severe imposed in the Netherlands since the start of the health crisis. So-called non-essential shops in particular are closed, as are schools but also cafes and restaurants which have already been closed since mid-October.

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