The Netherlands implemented new measures to contain the positive number of coronavirus cases on Tuesday, October 6. These regulations have taken effect for the first time since April, and will continue for about three weeks. According to a press conference by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Netherlands’ three largest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hauge) have the highest number of cases within the country and are required to undergo urgent preventive measures. For the past 5 months, the government had implemented an “intelligent” lockdown where public places and select businesses were still open and had ongoing operations amidst the pandemic. This lockdown aimed to reduce economic, social, and psychological costs within the nation due to the effects of isolation. However, according to a survey, 99% of the citizens continued to follow social distancing protocols and 93% remained indoors as much as possible.

The new protocol includes banning non-essential travels between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hauge. Bars and restaurants are permitted to operate, but must close by 22:00. People must wear face masks when entering shops and riding public transport; otherwise, they would be denied entry. Visitors in houses are limited to three only, and social gatherings such as sports events are prohibited. PM Rutte explained, “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.