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The Prime Minister of the Netherlands extends the epidemic blockade of his country

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday extended a tough virus blockade of the Koranavirus until the end of the month, but he added a note of hope to his message, predicting a “tip” point comes when the vaccine dominates the virus. more will be possible. “

Rutte was speaking in the Netherlands a week before the parliamentary elections, during which he is seeking a fourth term that could make him the longest-serving leader in the Netherlands. The epidemic casts a long shadow over other issues of the countdown to the March 15 three-day vote count.

Rutte said the curfew, which is part of the blockade, will remain in place through the election from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with polling stations open until 9 p.m., but people who work or visit polling stations will not be fined during curfew. for violations

The government also called on people to avoid all foreign travel, except the inevitable, by April 15.

Rutte said children between the ages of 12 and 12 are allowed to resume swimming lessons from March 16, and adults are allowed to play sports outside in groups of no more than four. two

Surveys have shown that the coronavirus blockade has been declining in recent weeks as these 17 million people get tired of closed cafes, restaurants, museums and other meeting places.

“A group of non-food retailers across the country went to court on Monday demanding an order allowing them to reopen to the public.” And on Tuesday, the hospitality industry umbrella organization is launching separate lawsuits over the delay in paying government support to businesses affected by the blockade.

Health Minister Hugo de onge ong said that if the number of infections remained stable or decreased, the government would consider reopening the outdoor terraces of cafes and reopening unnecessary shops in harsh conditions.

For the past two weeks, the average daily seven-day moving average in the Netherlands has risen from 23.08 new cases per 100,000 people on February 21 to 26.42 on March 7. It is estimated that nearly 16,000 people in the country have died from COVID-19. ,

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