Dutch govt expands health restrictions as virus cases rise

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File photo of activity in a Dutch city during coronavirus.
File photo of activity in a Dutch city during coronavirus.

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government has expanded health restrictions in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus, as cases rise, DPA quoted officials as saying today, on Friday.

Restrictions now apply in 14 of the country's 25 safety zones, eight more than before, the government said.

The measures already applied to larger cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam but now also encompass the regions of Groningen, Gelderland-Zuid and Brabant-Noord.

Bars must close at 1 a.m. (2300 GMT) at the latest in affected areas, and gatherings of more than 50 people are banned. Prime Minister Mark Rutter said he would not expand the measures across the country yet, but did not preclude the possibility.

He said imposing restrictions nationwide would be much harder on the economy than if regions decided based on local conditions, in remarks reported by news agency ANP.

The Netherlands recorded 2,777 new cases for the past 24 hours on Friday, the highest level in a long time. — SPA


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