The Netherlands has become the first European country to be placed under lockdown in several months as the Covid-19 situation in the country continues to deteriorate. The news is bound to come as a blow to not only European travelers planning their city breaks this winter, but also to American travelers who will have been planning a visit to the Netherlands following the US’ recent easing of travel restrictions.
Whilst travel to the Netherlands is still possible, the lockdown will affect a range of businesses and activities that might have been enjoyed by travelers, and it is set to deprive travelers of the opportunity to enjoy the country at its brilliant best. Here’s a look at all of the reasons why the Netherlands has decided to go into a lockdown once more, plus a look at what exactly the country’s lockdown entails.
Netherlands Under Lockdown – What Travelers Should Know
Just as many countries were gearing up for a holiday season where people would be able to enjoy the festivities and the freedoms they might not have had last winter, the Netherlands issued a reminder that Covid-19 is still very much a threat. Over the weekend, the Netherlands became the first European country to re-enter lockdown since the Delta variant forced many countries to take action and impose lockdowns in the summer.
Announced by the caretaker Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte on Friday November 12th, the effect was instant, with the country going into lockdown on the following day. Whilst it is only initially meant to be in place for a period of three weeks, Dutch citizens will be casting wary eyes on both the calendar and Covid-19 statistics as the possibility of being under lockdown for Christmas looms ever closer.
Going into lockdown means that whilst theatres and cinemas are allowed to remain open as usual, bars, restaurants and essential shops will have to close at 8PM, and non-essential shops will be forced to close their doors even earlier at 6PM. On top of that, gatherings at home are now limited to 4 people, whilst professional sporting events are no longer allowed spectators and must be held behind closed doors.
The decision to go into lockdown comes after cases have exploded once more in the Netherlands. The country is now reporting a 7 day rolling average of more than 13,000 cases, whilst the number of Covid-related deaths in the country is also starting to rise once more. The high number of cases was enough to see the Netherlands issued a Level 4 travel advisory warning, which recommends that travelers do not visit the country.
Speaking about the country’s decision to go into lockdown, Rutte said:
“We must reduce the number of contacts and infections as fast as possible. Tonight we are bringing a very unpleasant message, with very unpleasant and far-reaching measures. The virus is everywhere and needs to be combated everywhere. I want every Dutch citizen to be asking, can I do more? Can I do better? We had hoped with the vaccines we wouldn’t have to do this, but we see the same situation all across Europe.”
Despite the country going into lockdown and the Level 4 travel advisory warning, US travelers are still able to visit the country provided they are fully vaccinated. However, current lockdown restrictions are likely to affect the enjoyment of a trip to the Netherlands, so travelers may want to consider a different European destination instead.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com