Netherlands begins flight ban, first curfew since World War II

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 24, 2021, 11.55 AM(IST)

Netherlands Photograph:( AFP )

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The Netherlands on Saturday began its first nationwide curfew since World War 2. In addition, the country has banned flights from South Africa and Britain, where new variants of the coronavirus had emerged

The Netherlands on Saturday began its first nationwide curfew since World War 2. In addition, the country has banned flights from South Africa and Britain, where new variants of the coronavirus had emerged.

This marks the country's toughest decision on the pandemic so far. The country's Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the curfew is largely intended to contain more infectious variants of the virus. 

On Saturday, the country voted in favour of a curfew between 9 pm to 4.30 am.

The flight ban began on Saturday, with incoming planes from most countries banned.

"This is a very tough measure, but we are at a crossroads," Rutte said during a televised news conference. "The British variant doesn't leave us with an alternative."

Also read: Government in Netherlands resigns after benefit scandal

As part of the curfew, only people in emergency situations will be allowed to leave during the hours.

Exceptions against the curfew include medical emergencies, essential workers across fields, and walking pets on a leash. Violators are set to be fined $115.

In addition, the government said that all international travellers arriving by planes or boats need to produce proof of two negative coronavirus rapid tests, which ought to be done just before departure.

Also read: 'Spray' experiment in Netherlands' biggest football stadium could bring back crowds

Earlier, the country required a negative test taken within 72 hours of travel.

Since mid-December, schools and non-essential shops have remained shut. Earlier, bars and restaurants across the country were closed. All such facilities will remain shut until at least February 9.

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