Monday, November 15, 2021

Lockdowns, protests in Austria and Netherlands

Covid: Dutch partial Covid lockdown sparks protests | BBC News - Reuters:

November 14, 2021 - "Police in the Netherlands have used water cannon on protesters opposed to a new partial lockdown imposed amid record coronavirus infections and rising intensive care cases. Three weeks of restrictions for shops, sport and catering were announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday.... The Dutch prime minister said ... the three-week partial lockdown would start on Saturday evening:

  • Non-essential shops will have to shut at 18:00 (17:00 GMT) and supermarkets, cafes, restaurants and hotels at 20:00
  • Professional and amateur sport will continue, but behind closed doors. That includes the Netherlands' football World Cup qualifier against Norway on 16 November
  • The 18:00 closure applies to casinos and saunas as well as hairdressers and sex workers
  • A maximum of four guests aged over 13 will be allowed at people's homes
  • As many people should work from home as possible
  • Cinemas and theatres will stay open. 
  • Social distancing of 1.5m (5ft) is being reintroduced where Covid passes are not in operation.

"The catering industry has reacted angrily to the news; a spokesman told public broadcaster NOS the government had 'crossed a line'. Last weekend, thousands of protesters marched through The Hague in anger at existing Covid restrictions.... Protesters took to the streets in The Hague after Mr Rutte's announcement. Police fired water cannon after some of the crowd started throwing stones and fireworks at them."

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Austria Orders the Unvaccinated Back Into Lockdown | Reason - Christian Britschgi:

November 15, 2021 - "Austria is ordering its unvaccinated population back into lockdown in an effort to 'encourage' more people to get the jab. On Sunday, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced that those who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but who haven't received it or haven't recently recovered from COVID-19, will have to stay in their homes unless engaged in essential business or travel, reports Politico.

"That means unvaccinated people over the age of 12 will only be allowed to leave the house in order to do things like go to the grocery store or go on a walk, says the Los Angeles Times. Those with a negative COVID-19 test will be able to go to work as well, reports The Guardian.

"The new policy affects roughly 2 million people out of the country's population of nearly 9 million. Some 63 percent of Austria's population is fully vaccinated.... Violators will be hit with fines of 500 euros ($572). Police will also be conducting random stops of citizens to enforce the new lockdown policy. Those who refuse to participate in these checks can be fined an additional 1,450 euros ($1,658), says the BBC....

"Protests erupted in the capital city of Vienna in response to the lockdown, and the right-wing Freedom Party has promised to challenge its legality.

"German politicians are also considering similar restrictions. This week, the left-wing Greens and Social Democrats alongside the classical liberal Free Democrats (the three political parties likely to form the country's next coalition government) proposed requiring unvaccinated people to show a negative COVID-19 test when traveling on public transportation. Green co-chair Robert Habeck said the proposed restrictions amounted to a 'lockdown for the unvaccinated,' reports Politico. Berlin and other German state governments have gone further by limiting access to restaurants, theaters, and other public venues to the unvaccinated beginning this week."

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Protests occurred around the world on the weekend: 

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