The Netherlands will impose a nationwide curfew from Friday for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to stem the spread of the disease, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
The curfew will cover the hours from 8:30 pm to 4:30 am and last until February 10, Rutte told a press conference, adding that he would seek the support of parliament for the measure.
The Netherlands will also ban flights from Britain, South Africa and South America from January 23 as concern mounts about the spread of Covid-19 variants, Rutte said.
“The most important measure is that we have the intention of introducing a curfew. That means a ban from being outside between certain hours,” Rutte said as he announced the new measures.
“Of course, we can’t and don’t want to take such a drastic step without the approval of parliament. If there is sufficient support only then we will take a definitive decision.”
Rutte and his cabinet resigned on Friday over a scandal involving child tax benefits, but are staying on in a caretaker capacity until elections in mid-March with the power to take decisions on coronavirus measures.
The Netherlands is already under its toughest measures since the start of the pandemic, including the closure of schools and non-essential shops.