Dutch authorities announced on Tuesday, November 3, that the current partial lockdown which includes café and restaurants closures will run until mid-December, and additional stricter measures will be imposed from Wednesday, November 4, for two weeks until November 17 in efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Under the additional measures, the maximum group size outdoors and indoors, except in homes, will be two people from different households. Households will be able to receive no more than two people per day. People from the same households may gather. Retail stores will be required to close at 20:00 (local time), this does not include grocery stores and general markets. Establishments which serve food and drinks will close with take away services operating only. Alcohol will not be allowed to be sold or delivered between 20:00 and 07:00. Limitations on capacity in establishments permitted to stay open will continue and guests will be required to provide contact details for tracing. Additionally, museums, theaters, sex establishments, cinemas, zoos, and amusement parks will also close. Casinos and swimming pools will close and funerals and weddings face further restrictions on numbers.
Individuals are advised to stay home as much as possible and to avoid non-essential travel, with authorities strongly recommending individuals not to travel abroad for holidays until mid-January. Protective face masks should be worn in indoor public areas and on public transportation by all individuals over 13 years old. Social distancing guidelines should also be observed allowing for a 1.5m (5ft) distance in between individuals.
Shops, hairdressers, and other contact professions will remain open, as will gyms, but group lessons at sports schools will be prohibited in the latest two weeks. Reports indicate that the government is also considering curfews, school closures, and the closure of non-essential shops, though these are yet to be announced.
As of November 3, there have been 382,406 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7640 associated fatalities in the Netherlands. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently, and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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