From tomorrow almost everything closed, hard lockdown certainly until 14 January

From 5am tomorrow morning, a hard lockdown will apply in the Netherlands. Sources in The Hague confirm that the cabinet is taking over the advice of the Outbreak Management Team to close as many sectors as possible. In any case, the new measures will remain in force until January 14.

It was clear that the OMT and the cabinet are very concerned about the rapid spread of the omikron variant of the coronavirus.

The experts advise closing almost everything: only essential stores such as supermarkets and pharmacies should remain open, The Hague sources confirmed yesterday. The cabinet held an urgent debate this afternoon and has reportedly adopted the advice for the hard lockdown.

This means that, among other things, the hospitality industry, non-essential stores and the sports and culture sector must close again. Professional sports competitions are allowed – just like now without an audience – to go on. Pick up at shops and hospitality industry would still be possible. In addition, all secondary schools and other educational institutions should close as far as experts are concerned. The primary schools are closed early for the Christmas holidays.

On 3 January, it will be reviewed whether the schools can open on 10 January according to schedule, that is the starting point. Childcare should also close, with exceptions for children of people with crucial occupations and locations for children from zero to four years.

Four people for Christmas

The outdoor group size will be reduced to a maximum of 2 people. A maximum of 2 visitors may also be received indoors. It is said that there will be an exception for Christmas and New Years Eve: then 4 visitors are welcome.

At

19 p.m., the new measures will be explained in a press conference.

Before the urgent deliberation of the cabinet earlier this afternoon, the outgoing ministers de Jonge and Grapperhaus expressed all their concerns: