AMSTERDAM, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The Dutch government will extend a night-time curfew intended to slow the spread of coronavirus through March 3, the country’s justice minister said on Monday.
The curfew, the first in the Netherlands since World War Two, sparked several days of riots from anti-lockdown protesters when it was initially introduced on Jan. 23.
The team of medical experts advising the government “has told us that it’s turning out worse than we feared after all with the number of infections, hospitalizations and such,” Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said.
“It also warned us stringently about the ever-higher rise of the much more infectious British variant, and advised us urgently to go ahead and continue with the curfew,” he told reporters as he announced the decision after a Cabinet meeting.
New coronavirus cases in the Netherlands have been declining since the end of December with lockdown measures in place since October, but the government says that trend is about to reverse due to the growth in infections of new COVID-19 strains. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi)
National elections are scheduled for March 17.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Alison Williams and Lisa Shumaker)