First Dutch provinces expected to turn dark red on EU Covid map
Five provinces will likely move up to the highest alert level on the map of coronavirus cases in Europe. They are now red but will probably turn dark red on Thursday due to the high number of positive tests. They are Limburg, Gelderland, Overijssel, Zeeland, and Utrecht. The rest of the country will remain red for the time being.
It is the first time since end-July that parts of the Netherlands will be on the highest level. At the beginning of October, the Netherlands was entirely orange, the second-lowest level.
The European health service ECDC, to which the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) belongs, establishes the map. The service looks at the number and percentage of positive tests in the two previous calendar weeks. The European coronavirus map has four colors. From low to high, these are green, orange, red, and dark red.
Limburg is the largest coronavirus hotspot of the provinces. In the past two weeks, the period the ECDC is looking at, over 7,800 people tested positive there. That comes down to about 703 confirmed infections for every 100,000 Limburg residents - the highest level for the province since April. After Limburg, Gelderland (589 positive tests per 100,000), Overijssel (566), Zeeland (534), and Utrecht (512) are the main hotspots.
Noord-Brabant is the fastest climber. There were 433 positive tests for every 100,000 people from Noord-Brabant in the past two calendar weeks, an increase of more than 57 percent compared to the current map published last Thursday.
Groningen is relatively the "quietest" province in the Netherlands. There were 268 positive tests per 100,000 people in the past two weeks, increasing "only" 31 percent.
Countries use the map to decide whether to tighten the rules for travelers from other countries. For example, Germany could choose to designate the Netherlands as a "Hochrisikogebiet" or "high-risk area." If that happens, people who have been to the Netherlands must report their arrival to the German government online before their departure. They must also show that they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, recently tested negative, or have just recovered from an infection.
Reporting by ANP