The Netherlands returned to a partial lockdown on Saturday as new cases of COVID-19 are surging and straining hospitals.
The government ordered restaurants and shops to close early and barred spectators from major sporting events. Supermarkets will close earlier, cafes and bars will close at 8pm, and no more than four visitors in homes was recommended.
“Tonight we are bringing a very unpleasant message with very unpleasant and far-reaching measures,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised address on Friday evening. “The virus is everywhere and needs to be combated everywhere.”
The lockdown has been re-imposed for three weeks.
Nearly 85% of the adult Dutch population has been fully vaccinated. Since the start of the pandemic, the Netherlands has recorded 2.27 million COVID-19 cases and 18,695 related deaths.
The government was also considering measures to restrict the access of unvaccinated people to indoor venues, which would require parliamentary approval.
Austria Introduces Lockdown for the Unvaccinated
With about 65% of Austrian citizens vaccinated, approximately 2 million unvaccinated find themselves in lockdown as the country faces a surge of cases.
Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to leave home for limited reasons, like working or buying food. The measures are initially for 10 days.
Unvaccinated people were already barred from visiting restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas, but will now be expected to stay at home.
While the vaccination rate is one of the lowest in Europe, the seven-day infection rate is one of the highest at 800 per 100,000.