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US News: The Netherlands fear new riots after hardening of restrictions

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Le ministre de la Santé Hugo de Jonge parle à la presse, en marge d'une réunion gouvernementale sur la gestion de la pandémie, le 26 novembre 2021 © Bart Maat The Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge speaks to the press, on the sidelines of a government meeting on the management of the pandemic, November 26 2021

The Dutch government must announce Friday night a strengthening of sanitary restrictions to combat a soaring of CVIV-19 cases in the Netherlands, where the police "prepares" new riots and protests.

At a press conference scheduled at 7:00 pm (18:00 GMT), Prime Minister Mark Rutte should announce the closure of bars and restaurants at 17:00 instead of 20:00, schools in front of them stay open, reported local media.

The hospitals will also cancel planned operations to release beds while cases reach record levels, despite the latest restrictions and the fact that about 85% of Dutch adults are vaccinated, said the Minister of Health.

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Un cycliste passe, le 23 novembre 2021, devant une facade dégradée par les émeutes contre les restrictions sanitaires à Rotterdam © Sebastien Bozon a cyclist passes, on November 23, 2021, in front of a degraded facade by the riots against the sanitary restrictions in Rotterdam

the Dutch authorities recorded 21,350 new infections on Friday, slightly below the average of 22.258 cases on the seven last days.

According to the public channel Nos, the Dutch government has decided during a meeting on Friday that stores, bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and non-essential stores were to close from 17h to 5am.

The schools will remain open despite the fact that the largest increase in infections concerns children, but students, from 10 years, will probably have to wear masks, said the NOSs, citing sources within the cabinet.

The health experts of the Dutch epidemics management team would have estimated that a new closure of schools, as was the case at the beginning of the pandemic, would be harmful for children.

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- Tensile situation -

Strengthening current measures may ignite a situation already stretched in the Netherlands, theater of four nights under high voltage in different cities since Friday, especially in Rotterdam and The Hague.

"We keep the ears and eyes open and we prepare," said Gijs van Nimwegen, spokesman for the Rotterdam Police. "We hope it will remain calm, all over the Netherlands and Rotterdam," he added to AFP.

The country reintroduced on 13 November a partial confinement, with a series of health restrictions, particularly affecting the restoration sector, which must close at 8 pm. Public events are prohibited and football matches played in camera.

The government also plans to prohibit certain locations for non-vaccinated, including bars and restaurants.

The last two conferences of the prime minister devoted to the epidemic were marked by clashes between police and protesters before the ministries in The Hague.

Then an anti-restriction manifestation, organized via social networks, quickly laughed on Friday in Rotterdam, where cars were burned, pebilled police officers and targeted with fireworks by hundreds of ensembled young people and hooligans.

The troubles were propagated to other Dutch cities. In total, 173 people have been arrested throughout the country since Friday.

CVO-DK / JCP / TBM

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