First EU Country Imposes Lockdown Because Of Omicron Strain

The Netherlands is the first in the EU to impose a general lockdown because of a new strain of coronavirus, the Financial Times reports.

The restrictions came into force on Sunday and will remain in place until at least 14 January. Restaurants, non-food shops, cinemas and gyms will be closed in the country during this period.

Restrictions will also be imposed on hospitality. Up to four people can be invited home for Christmas and up to two on other days.

These are the toughest restrictions in the country since 2020, the FT notes.

The Dutch Ministry of Health estimates that Omicron will become the dominant strain of the coronavirus by the end of the year.

The strain was first reported in Africa and was later identified in dozens of other countries. Some countries have imposed restrictions on entry from states where it has been detected.

The World Health Organization said in December that preliminary data showed that Omicron was more contagious and rapidly transmissible, but that it was milder than ‘delta’ infection.

source: ft.com

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