De Jonge: Dutch won't tighten up Covid restrictions before Christmas
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said the Netherlands will not likely be subjected to even stricter social restrictions after the country set new records for most coronavirus infections in a single day, and most new infections reported in a one-week period. De Jonge made the comments to reporters on Sunday, but said that if the situation worsens the Cabinet's position could change.
Some 13,066 more people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, public health agency RIVM said on Sunday. That closed the week at 76,612, up 35 percent in a week, and moved the seven-day rolling average to a record 10,945. The moving average sat 125% above its second-wave low of 4,861 set 18 days ago.
Of new restrictions, De Jonge said, "The information we have now gives no reason to do so." The country just went into a lockdown at the start of December 15, including the shutdown of school, the closure of all non-essential retail stores and most indoor public locations. He said that he hoped residents of the Netherlands would act with the due caution the situation requires.
"Act as if you have the virus yourself, and make sure that the holidays do not also become holidays for coronavirus," he said, repeating a similar sentiment from the British government. Large portions of the United Kingdom went into a full lockdown during the weekend after coronavirus infections shot up there amid fears of a new, highly contagious mutation of the virus spreading there.
That led the Dutch Cabinet on Sunday morning to disallow all flights from the UK to the Netherlands. Train service from the UK could not reach the Dutch border on Monday because of restrictions in place in Belgium, and it was widely expected the Netherlands would extend its own travel ban to include ferries which originate at British ports.