Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on the country to respect a night-time curfew, saying it was still needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic despite a court ruling earlier on Tuesday that the measure lacked a legal basis.
Rutte’s coronavirus policy was dealt a major blow when a court said his government had failed to make clear why it was necessary to use emergency powers at this stage of the pandemic. The government said it would appeal against the ruling.
The court said it would rule later on Tuesday whether the curfew should remain in place until the appeal hearing, which is to be held as soon as possible.
Rutte maintained that the curfew was needed to prevent a surge in infections due to more contagious new mutations of the virus.
“It would be very unwise to lift the curfew at this moment,” Rutte told reporters. “We installed it in order to control the coronavirus as much as possible and to make it possible to regain our freedom in a safe way.”