68% support stricter coronavirus restrictions; 49% approve total lockdown
An estimated 68 percent of Dutch people surveyed by I&O Research said that they supported the government taking a stricter stance when it comes to coronavirus restrictions, up from 60 percent in November. The poll of 2,353 people was conducted this past weekend on behalf of broadcaster NOS, showed that 49 percent of the public wants a total lockdown.
Around 34 percent of were against a complete lockdown, with 16 percent of people wanting restrictions loosened. Some 44 percent said they were in favor of an evening curfew. Around 4 percent said they wanted all restrictions scrapped.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was expected to address the Dutch public in a speech from his office at 7 p.m. on Monday, with the average number of new coronavirus infections having risen steadily and sharply over the past two weeks. In it, he was likely to introduce a hard lockdown in the Netherlands that will include non-essential stores, museums, cinemas, zoos, primary schools, secondary schools and daycare facilities. The lockdown is likely to last through January 19.
"People understand very well that it must become stricter," researcher Peter Kanne told the broadcaster. On average, voters from across the political spectrum were in favor of a tougher policy. Only the voters for far right nationalist party FVD were against a tighter set of social restrictions to combat the pandemic, with 75 percent of them saying they wanted restrictions loosened.
In general the Cabinet has lost support for how it has been handling the pandemic, with support falling to 66 percent from 73 percent over the last month. "If the population feels that the cabinet is a little behind the times, then the support will decrease," Kanne said.