Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday announced the closure of primary schools next week and the extension of existing health restrictions until January 14 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, due to the new Omicron variant.
Schools will be closed from December 20, one week before the Christmas holidays begin, because children, at the highest age of COVID-19 rates, can infect older members of their families. Press conference in The Hague.
“It is of course not the happy message we had hoped for with Christmas approaching. But it is not a surprise.” “We cannot ignore the warnings about the omicron variable,” he added.
The government will extend current health restrictions until January 14, including closing non-essential shops, bars and restaurants every day between 17:00 and 5:00, and restrictions on four of the number of guests Dutch citizens can receive at home.
The measures went into effect on November 28, for an initial period of three weeks.
Health authorities have indicated that cases of Covid-19 are higher among primary school students. The Dutch CEO decided to close schools because “there is great concern about the emergence of the omicron variant, which is spreading rapidly”. “With the Christmas holiday starting right around Christmas this year, children can pass the infection on to their older family members without knowing it, which would put great pressure on hospitals,” the government said in a statement.
Health restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic imposed by the Dutch government are becoming increasingly unpopular, sparking riots in cities such as Rotterdam and The Hague for several nights in November.
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