Sunday, 28 November, 2021
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15 held in Dutch anti-lockdown protests

15 held in Dutch anti-lockdown protests

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THE HAGUE: Dutch police arrested 15 people in a town in the north of the Netherlands late Saturday during clashes with demonstrators who were protesting against a new partial lockdown, reports AFP.

Police said that hundreds of people had gathered on a square in the centre of Leeuwarden to protest against the new anti-coronavirus rules, under which bars and restaurants must close at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT).

On Friday, Dutch premier Mark Rutte announced at least three weeks of lockdown measures targeting restaurants, shops and sporting events to curb a record spike in coronavirus infections. Footage by Dutch public television NOS showed protesters drinking and singing on the steps of the justice ministry.

And the local police tweeted that a large group of demonstrators set off fireworks and refused to leave the town centre. Under Europe's first partial lockdown of the winter, bars, restaurants, cafes and supermarkets must shut at 8:00 pm and non-essential shops must shut at 6:00 pm, until December 4.

People will be limited to having four visitors at home and have been advised to work at home unless absolutely necessary.

Public events will be scrapped while football matches including the Netherlands' home World Cup qualifier with Norway next week must be played behind closed doors.

Schools will however remain open, and people will be allowed to leave their homes without restrictions.

Thousands of people demonstrated in The Hague last Sunday following the announcement by the government of the reintroduction of mask-wearing rules in some public spaces.