The Dutch PM Mark Rutte will address the nation tonight
The Dutch broadcaster NOS is reporting that the prime minister will demand an unprecedented harsh lockdown, until January 19 (a week longer than in Germany). At 19:00 tonight Mark Rutte will make a televised address to announce the new measures.
The Dutch cabinet is preparing a far-reaching lockdown for the whole of the Netherlands, whereby almost everything will close until 19 January: from schools to non-essential shops to museums to hairdressing salons to theaters, sources in The Hague report to the NOS.
The measures will take effect tonight at midnight to prevent a run on shops tomorrow. Contact professions such as physiotherapists and massage parlors must also stop, and people must stay at home as much as possible.
Schools must close their doors from Wednesday and switch to online education.
The cabinet is taking these drastic measures because the number of infections has risen sharply and the pressure on healthcare is becoming too great. The cabinet hoped to reduce the number of infections to 3,600 in mid-December, but there are now almost 10,000 every day.
People should stay at home as much as possible and the government suggests that people not receive visitors. The setting of a curfew has been discussed but will not be implemented.