The Netherlands to ease restrictions, reopen bars and restaurants

The Netherlands to ease restrictions, reopen bars and restaurants
# 26 January 2022 10:09 (UTC +04:00)

The Dutch government will today further ease Covid restrictions despite record numbers of infections, with restaurants, bars and theatres set to re-open on Wednesday, APA reports citing The Guardian.

Prime minister Mark Rutte told a news conference on Tuesday:

"The Netherlands has missed you.

Today we are taking a big step to further unlock the Netherlands. That feels contradictory while the contamination figures are going through the roof, and we have to be clear that we are taking a risk."

Rutte said the decision was in response to “great tensions” with the hospitality and cultural sectors over a virtual lockdown imposed days before Christmas.

Anger mounted after shops, gyms, hairdressers and sex workers were allowed to resume business on 15 January, but other venues had to stay shut. Cafes in several cities opened in defiance of the restrictions the weekend before last, while dozens of museums even opened as well as beauty salons for a day in protest, Agence France-Presse reports.

The European country is currently seeing record numbers of coronavirus cases, with new infections running at around 60,000 a day, fuelled by the Omicron variant.

However, intensive care admissions and deaths have been falling.