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The Netherlands announces the end of restrictions due to the pandemic

Street stall for carrying out covid tests, in Amsterdam. / AFP

The measures will decline at the end of the month, but from the next day 18 there will be no limitations on sporting events and restaurants may be open until 1:00 a.m.

The Dutch government announced this Friday that it plans to withdraw next Friday, February 18, practically all the restrictions imposed to control the coronavirus pandemic. The Minister of Health, Ernst Kuipers, explained that all stadiums, restaurants and cinemas will be open again to visitors with almost no restrictions, as he has indicated in a statement addressed to Parliament.

This will allow restaurants to stay open until 1am instead of closing at 10pm as before. The rest of the restrictions will be lifted before the end of February, according to the plan presented by the authorities. However, cases remain high in the Netherlands, although the number of patients requiring medical assistance is decreasing. The Ministry of Health estimates that the infection rate is currently around 4,800 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Government is facing greater pressure from the population, deputies and businessmen, who want to see an effective reduction in the restriction measures. Starting next week, when nightclubs and stadiums reopen, attendees will have to present a negative test in those places that have a capacity of more than 500 people.

The population will have to continue using the vaccination passport to be able to access the premises, although they will be able to do so without a mask and without the need to maintain a safety distance.

Since the start of the pandemic, the country has registered more than 5.5 million cases and 21,358 deaths.

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