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The Netherlands Imposes New COVID-19 Restrictions As Nightlife Propels A Surge In Infection Rates

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THE HAGUE (CelebrityAccess) — The Netherlands has re-implemented new lockdown measures after coronavirus infections surged by more than 500% in the last week.

Under the new restrictions which will remain in effect until at least August 13th, all restaurants and bars must be closed from midnight until 06.00. Entertainment in the form of live performances and loud music is prohibited.

As well, discos and nightclubs have been closed entirely, while cultural venues may remain open, provided all visitors have assigned seats that allow for 1.5 meters of social distancing.

The shift in policy is an abrupt about-face from last month when Dutch public health officials relaxed virtually all remaining lockdown restrictions.

Since then, according to the Netherland’s National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, infection rates have exploded among people ages 18-24, with a 907% increase from the previous week, along with an 856% rise in 25-29 year-olds. According to the Institute, the largest majority of infections, 37% in those tested were related to cafés, restaurants and clubs.

“The coronavirus infection rate in the Netherlands has increased much faster than expected since society reopened almost completely on 26 June. Most infections have occurred in nightlife settings and parties with high numbers of people. The increased infection rate does not currently pose a threat to vulnerable groups or the capacity of the healthcare system. However, such a high number of infectious people can be a risk for people who have not, or not yet, been fully vaccinated. The Delta variant is causing more cases of illness among people who are not fully vaccinated, and there have even been cases of this variant infecting people who are fully vaccinated or who have already had a coronavirus infection. The possibility of new virus mutations arising also raises uncertainty. And the lingering symptoms of ‘long COVID’ can also have a big impact on people’s lives,” a statement from the Dutch government said.

According to the Institute, most new infections occurred among unvaccinated people, with about 10% occurring in the partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated. About 40% of the Dutch population has received a full set of vaccinations, according to Our World In Data.

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