The Netherlands has halted flights from 17 countries to reduce the number of infections and prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus strains.
The COVID-19 mutations were first found in the U.K. and South Africa in December. Soon after, they were detected in the Netherlands.
Consequently, the Dutch government officials halted flights from the U.K. for ten days. They resumed those earlier this month, but passengers had to present a negative test result of the rapid Coronavirus test before departure.
The new ban will come into effect on Saturday, January 23, and will halt flights from the following countries:
Meanwhile, local lockdown measures have tightened. All non-essential businesses, schools, and restaurants remain closed. There are also strict contact measurements.
Schools will provide online teaching until at least February 7, whereas the rest of the lockdown restrictions is set to expire on February 9.
The Dutch government has also suggested the first national curfew. It will not allow residents to be outside between 8:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. There will be various exceptions, such as emergency reasons or commuting to work.
The curfew is yet to be approved by the parliament. Tourism is not recommended, but essential travel is allowed.
To enter the country, passengers must present a negative test result from the COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in the Netherlands. Self-quarantine for ten days is strongly advised but not necessary.
The country’s Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has expressed concerns about the new COVID-19 variants.
He admitted that the current restrictions are tight. However, he hopes that the measurements along with the arrival of vaccines will bring the numbers of infected people down.
From the beginning of the pandemic, the Netherlands has reported 932,884 Coronavirus cases and 13,337 deaths. On average, they are reporting around 5,000 new cases a day.