Netherlands poised to tighten curbs to slow second COVID-19 wave…

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a mask looks at street art as she walks at the International Street Art Museum following the new social restrictions announced by the Dutch government, as the Netherlands battle to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amsterdam, Netherlands 14 October 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Reuters . Tue, November 3, 2020, 1:57 PM GMT+1
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government is expected to announce tighter lockdown measures later on Tuesday, including a recommendation that people avoid taking end-of-year holidays abroad.

Bars and restaurants were ordered on Oct. 13 to close for at least a month as the country imposed a partial lockdown to slow a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to announce in a televised news conference at 1800 GMT that museums, theatres, cinemas, zoos and amusement parks will also have to close, national news agency ANP reported, citing sources.

The Netherlands joins Britain, France, Germany and several smaller European countries in tightening measures to fight the pandemic in recent weeks.

Although the Oct. 13 restrictions appear to have slowed infections, the daily number of new cases in the Netherlands remains relatively high.

On Tuesday the National Institute for Health (RIVM) reported 64,087 new cases over the past week, down from 67,542 the week before, the first time weekly numbers have declined since August.

Hospitals are near capacity due to a surge in COVID-19 patients, numbers of which are continuing to climb, and the government is under pressure to ease the strain on the healthcare system.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Ed Osmond)

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