On Tuesday, October 6, new measures to control the surge of coronavirus cases in the Netherlands took effect for the first time since April, and will last for approximately three weeks. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated in a televised press conference that The Hauge, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam need to undergo urgent preventive measures due to the increase of cases in the cities. The Dutch government had adopted an “intelligent” lockdown 5 months ago, where public places were still open and select businesses continued to operate regardless of the pandemic’s threat. The government aimed to minimize the economic, social, and psychological costs that may result from isolation. The citizens, however, remained compliant to the social distancing rules. According to a survey, 99% of the residents followed social distancing protocols whereas 93% stayed indoors in full measure.

Residents are strictly forbidden to pursue non-essential travels between The Hauge, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. Eateries and bars are still open for business, but must close by 22:00 sharp, while shops are permitted to deny entry to customers with no masks. People are also advised to work from home instead, and are mandated to wear masks on public transport if necessary. Social gatherings are limited to only three people if inside houses, and public meetings such as sports events are banned. “Naturally these measures will have negative economic consequences. But allowing the virus to flare up would have even bigger consequences, including damage to the economy,” PM Rutte said.