At a press conference scheduled for Friday evening, Prime Minister Mark Rutte may announce the closure of bars and restaurants at 8:00 pm (1600 GMT), local media reported.
Strengthening current operations risks triggering an already tense situation in the Netherlands, with four nights of high tension seen in various cities since Friday, especially in Rotterdam and The Hague.
“We are preparing with our ears and eyes open,” said Rotterdam Police spokesman Gijs van Nimvegan. “We hope it will be quiet everywhere in the Netherlands and Rotterdam,” he told AFP.
The country reintroduced area controls last week, particularly the ongoing health restrictions affecting the restaurant industry. The government plans to ban some non-vaccinated areas, including bars and restaurants.
For the second year in a row, firecrackers, which traditionally explode during the New Year, usually cause multiple injuries and are banned in hospitals to avoid overload.
Citizens are not allowed to stay in their homes with more than four people and are called by phone. Public demonstrations are prohibited and football matches are held behind closed doors.
Despite these measures, in the Netherlands, with a population of 17 million, more than 22,000 new cases a day are still being registered. This situation prompted the executive to present the Prime Minister’s press conference for a week.
The Panel of Experts (OMT), which has been advising the government since the outbreak began, however, recommends that schools, colleges, high schools and universities not close even if cases erupt among students.
UNWTO believes that closing schools anew will be detrimental to the development of children and youth, as it was at the onset of the epidemic.
The last two conferences of the Prime Minister dedicated to the epidemic were marked by clashes between police and protesters outside the Ministries in The Hague.
Then, an anti-control demonstration organized by social networks quickly erupted in Rotterdam on Friday, where cars were set on fire, police officers were stoned and hundreds of young people and thugs were targeted by fireworks.
A total of 173 people have been arrested across the country since Friday. Two rioters were jailed for throwing stones at police.
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