clearn.png
Tuesday January 18th, 2022 5:38AM

Dutch government eases lockdown, but not for hospitality

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

VALKENBURG, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government eased its coronavirus lockdown Friday, allowing non-essential stores, universities, sports clubs and “contact businesses” like hairdressers to reopen for the first time in nearly a month.

But while many businesses can open Saturday until 5 p.m., bars, restaurants, museums and theaters will remain shut as COVID-19 cases rise steeply.

“I understand very well that it feels completely unfair after all those long months of closure and after all that effort to open safely," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said about anger in the hospitality industry.

The discontent led shops, bars and restaurants in a southern Dutch town to open earlier Friday in a protest action that underscored growing anger at weeks of coronavirus lockdown measures.

Locals flocked to eat and drink at outdoor tables of restaurants in the main street of Valkenburg in open defiance of a lockdown in the Netherlands. Authorities in the tourist town, which was devastated by flooding last year, didn't take action to enforce coronavirus restrictions.

“It’s very difficult, it doesn’t feel fair at the moment. The first few lockdowns were logical, I agreed with them, but it doesn’t feel fair any more,” said Didi Corten, who opened the outdoor terrace of Brasserie America for the day.

“After the flooding, we want to open again very soon because otherwise I’m afraid a lot of businesses will not survive,” she added. “It can’t go on like this.”

More towns in the region were planning similar protest openings on Saturday.

The country has been in a tough lockdown since Dec. 18 in a move the government says is aimed at “buying time” to ease pressure on overburdened hospitals and ramp up the vaccine booster program.

While infections have shot to record numbers recently as the omicron variant became dominant, hospital and intensive care unit admissions have been falling for weeks. The country’s public health institute recorded an average of more than 31,000 new cases a day over the last week.

New Health Minister Ernst Kuipers warned that the number could rise to 80,000 per day. He advised people to wear medical face masks in busy public places and elsewhere, including at work, where it is not possible to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Dirk Beljaarts, general director of the national hospitality industry group, said he met with new Economic Affairs Minister Micky Adriaansens to press for bars and restaurants to be allowed to reopen.

“The Cabinet can't leave hospitality (& culture) as the only sectors out in the cold,” Beljaarts tweeted earlier Friday ahead of the announcement that those sectors would not be allowed to reopen.

The lockdown has led to frustration particularly in towns like Valkenburg that are close to the Dutch borders with Germany and Belgium that are seeing people visiting those neighboring nations to shop or dine out because they have fewer restrictions.

The booster drive was slow to get started in the Netherlands, but has gathered pace in recent weeks. Just over 86% of adults are fully vaccinated and 45% have had a booster shot.

___

Corder reported from The Hague.

___

Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Health, College Sports, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Dutch government eases lockdown, but not for hospitality
The Dutch government has eased its coronavirus lockdown, allowing non-essential stores, universities, sports clubs and “contact businesses” like hairdressers to reopen for the first time in nearly a month
1:55PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Cyber attack in Albuquerque latest to target public schools
Around 75,000 New Mexico schoolchildren are missing school Friday for the second day after a cyber attack hit the state's largest school district on Wednesday
1:51PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Ex-EPA workers ask Virginia senators not to confirm Wheeler
More than 150 former Environmental Protection Agency employees are writing to the Virginia Senate, asking the Democrat-controlled chamber to oppose the nomination of former EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler to GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s Cabinet
1:43PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Djokovic faces deportation as Australia revokes visa again
Tennis star Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time
1:21PM ( 49 minutes ago )
5 players are unanimous choices for AP's NFL All-Pro Team
Five players, including dynamic pass catchers Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams, are unanimous choices for The Associated Press 2021 NFL All-Pro Team
12:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
Japan’s Kobayashi among favorites in wide-open ski jumping
Three-time Olympic ski jumping champion Kamil Stoch has an injured left leg that is knocking him out of World Cup competition this week in his native Poland
12:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Timme's 30 lead No. 2 Gonzaga over BYU 110-84
Drew Timme scored 30 points on 13-of-14 shooting and No. 2 Gonzaga beat rival BYU 110-84 to extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 61 games
1:56AM ( 12 hours ago )
Oregon beats No. 3 UCLA 84-81 in OT for Altman's 700th win
Jacob Young scored a season-high 23 points and Oregon edged No. 3 UCLA 84-81 in overtime to give coach Dana Altman his 700th career victory
1:22AM ( 12 hours ago )
Frosh duo helps No. 8 Duke beat Wake Forest without Coach K
Paolo Banchero had 24 points and eighth-ranked Duke hit 13 straight shots to blow it open after halftime and beat Wake Forest 76-64 on Wednesday night with Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski sidelined by illness
9:12PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
UK says there is 'deal to be done' to resolve feud with EU
Britain’s foreign minister has expressed optimism that there is a “deal to be done” to resolve a Northern Ireland trade dispute that has soured the U.K.’s relations with the European Union
12:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
UK leader's office apologizes for party before royal funeral
Boris Johnson’s office has apologized to the royal family for a lockdown-breaching staff parties in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philips funeral
12:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
In southern Dutch town, cafes open in lockdown protest
Shops, bars and restaurants in a southern Dutch town have opened in a protest action that underscored growing anger at weeks of coronavirus lockdown measures
11:26AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
December retail sales slip after a record holiday season
Americans overlooked shortages, spiking prices and uncertainty over the omicron variant to break spending records during the critical holiday shopping season
1:15PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Owners to get $42 million for citrus trees Florida destroyed
Sixteen years after their legal battle began, about 18,000 homeowners in central Florida will be paid more than $42 million collectively by Florida’s agriculture agency for destroying their citrus trees during a state effort to eradicate a harmful citrus disease
12:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
Goodbye 'godsend': Expiration of child tax credits hits home
For the first time in half a year, families on Friday are going without a monthly deposit from the child tax credit
12:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Cyber attack in Albuquerque latest to target public schools
Around 75,000 New Mexico schoolchildren are missing school Friday for the second day after a cyber attack hit the state's largest school district on Wednesday
1:51PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Ex-EPA workers ask Virginia senators not to confirm Wheeler
More than 150 former Environmental Protection Agency employees are writing to the Virginia Senate, asking the Democrat-controlled chamber to oppose the nomination of former EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler to GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s Cabinet
1:43PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Waukesha parade suspect to stand trial for murder
A Wisconsin court commissioner has ordered a Milwaukee man accused of plowing his SUV through a suburban Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring dozens more, to stand trial
1:40PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Czechs to let some workers stay on after testing positive
The new Czech government will allow some workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus to stay on the job, in an extraordinary measure to ease possible staff shortages caused by an anticipated surge of the omicron variant
1:23PM ( 46 minutes ago )
ACC commissioner says CFP expansion should be put on hold
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips says now is not the time for College Football Playoff expansion
1:23PM ( 47 minutes ago )