Dutch government imposes strict lockdown measures ahead of Christmas

Dutch announce COVID lockdown easing amid record infections

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday announced the reopening of stores, hairdressers and gyms, partially lifting a lockdown despite record numbers of new COVIC-19 cases, Trend reports citing Reuters.

“We are taking a big step and that also means we’re taking a big risk,” Rutte told a televised press conference.

Non-essential stores, hairdressers, beauty salons and other service providers will be allowed to reopen under strict conditions until 5 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) for the first time since mid-December.

Rutte added that the uncertainties meant that bars, restaurants and cultural venues would have to remain closed until at least Jan. 25.