A total of 3,831 new coronavirus cases were reported to the Dutch public health institute RIVM in the 24 hours to 10am on Friday morning, up almost 600 on Thursday.
The number of hospital patients has also risen by 42 to 733, including 160 in intensive care, the national patient coordination platform said. The death toll rose by nine – the RIVM has recorded an average of 14 deaths a day over the past seven days, compared with eight in the week earlier period.
Prime minister Mark Rutte said on Monday that he expected the number of positive cases to reach 5,000 on a daily basis in the next few days, before the impact of new restrictions was felt.
The new restrictions include a 10pm closing time for cafes and bars, restrictions on group sizes and an ‘urgent recommendation’ that people wear face masks in public buildings, including shops, museums and government offices.
Most positive cases in the past 24 hours – 352 – were again recorded in Amsterdam.
Meanwhile, campaign group Coronavirus Waarheid, which opposes government restrictions and gets funding from far-right party FVD, has said it will start legal action against schools which introduce a face mask requirement.
The measure, currently in the form of a government recommendation, would be ‘illegal’ and ‘abuse’, the group’s founder Willem Engel said.
Higher education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven has said she does not see the need to recommend the use of masks in colleges and universities.
However, a number of students demonstrated on Museumplein in Amsterdam on Friday, calling on the government and universities do more to ensure students can attend physical lectures.
‘Some students are sitting at home for weeks in a row, staring at screens,’ Maarten van Dorp, chairman of student union LSVB told the AD. ‘It is not good for mental health, it is demotivating and everyone is longing for social contact.’
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