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Netherlands extends COVID-19 lockdown to April 20

Christian Fernsby |
The COVID-19 lockdown in the Netherlands will be extended to April 20 due to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday.

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"The number of corona patients in intensive care is increasing. The third wave is starting to become visible. Therefore, the current package of measures is being extended," Rutte said at a press conference.

"I understand this is disappointing. I understand the impatience. However, the novel coronavirus infections are increasing," he stressed.

According to the prime minister, the only significant change to the existing lockdown measures is that the curfew will start at 10 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., starting from March 31. It will still continue through 4:30 a.m. the following morning.

"It is logical that we are fed up. But our own behavior remains the fastest way to the relaxation of measures," Rutte said.

The government also advised citizens to stay in the country and not to travel abroad until May 15.

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said on Tuesday that a total of 46,005 people tested positive for COVID-19 from March 17 to 23, up 16 percent from the week before. Rutte expected that much more will be possible from the beginning of June, when a large group of people in the country will have been vaccinated.

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